Monday, June 19, 2023
The Emergence of a New Non-Alignment: The Twenty-Fourth Newsletter JUNE 15, 2023 Español Português Italian Sahej Rahal (India), Juggernaut, 2019. Dear friends, Greetings from the desk of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. A new mood of defiance in the Global South has generated bewilderment in the capitals of the Triad (the United States, Europe, and Japan), where officials are struggling to answer why governments in the Global South have not accepted the Western view of the conflict in Ukraine or universally supported the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in its efforts to ‘weaken Russia’. Governments that had long been pliant to the Triad’s wishes, such as the administrations of Narendra Modi in India and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Türkiye (despite the toxicity of their own regimes), are no longer as reliable. Since the start of the war in Ukraine, India’s Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar has been vocal in defending his government’s refusal to accede to Washington’s pressure. In April 2022, at a joint press conference in Washington, DC with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Jaishankar was asked to explain India’s continued purchase of oil from Russia. His answer was blunt: ‘I noticed you refer to oil purchases. If you are looking at energy purchases from Russia, I would suggest that your attention should be focused on Europe… We do buy some energy which is necessary for our energy security. But I suspect, looking at the figures, probably our total purchases for the month would be less than what Europe does in an afternoon’. Kandi Narsimlu (India), Waiting at the Bus Stand, 2023. However, such comments have not deterred Washington’s efforts to win India over to its agenda. On 24 May, the US Congress’s Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party released a policy statement on Taiwan which asserted that ‘[t]he United States should strengthen the NATO Plus arrangement to include India’. This policy statement was released shortly after the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, where India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with the various G7 leaders, including US President Joe Biden, as well as Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The Indian government’s response to this ‘NATO Plus’ formulation echoed the sentiment of its earlier remarks about purchasing Russian oil. ‘A lot of Americans still have that NATO treaty construct in their heads’, Jaishankar said in a press conference on 9 June. ‘It seems almost like that is the only template or viewpoint with which they look at the world… That is not a template that applies to India’. India, he said, is not interested in being part of NATO Plus, wishing to maintain a greater degree of geopolitical flexibility. ‘One of the challenges of a changing world’, Jaishankar said, ‘is how do you get people to accept and adjust to those changes’. Katsura Yuki (Japan), An Ass in a Lion’s Skin, 1956. There are two significant takeaways from Jaishankar’s statements. First, the Indian government – which does not oppose the United States, either in terms of its programme or temperament – is uninterested in being drawn into a US-led bloc system (the ‘NATO treaty construct’, as Jaishankar put it). Second, like many governments in the Global South, it recognises that we live in ‘changing world’ and that the traditional major powers – especially the United States – need to ‘adjust to those changes’. In its Investment Outlook 2023 report, Credit Suisse pointed to the ‘deep and persistent fractures’ that have opened up in the international order – another way of referring to what Jaishankar called the ‘changing world’. Credit Suisse describes these ‘fractures’ accurately: ‘The global West (Western developed countries and allies) has drifted away from the global East (China, Russia, and allies) in terms of core strategic interests, while the Global South (Brazil, Russia, India, and China and most developing countries) is reorganising to pursue its own interests’. These final words bear repeating: ‘the Global South… is reorganising to pursue its own interests’. In mid-April, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs released its Diplomatic Bluebook 2023, in which it noted that we are now at the ‘end of the post-Cold War era’. After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the United States asserted its primacy over the international order and, along with its Triad vassals, established what it called the ‘rules-based international order’. This thirty-year-old US-led project is now floundering, partly due to the internal weaknesses of the Triad countries (including their weakened position in the global economy) and partly due to the rise of the ‘locomotives of the South’ (led by China, but including Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Nigeria). Our calculations, based on the IMF datamapper, show that for the first time in centuries, the Gross Domestic Product of the Global South countries surpassed that of the Global North countries this year. The rise of these developing countries – despite the great social inequality that exists within them – has produced a new attitude amongst their middle classes which is reflected in the increased confidence of their governments: they no longer accept the parochial views of the Triad countries as universal truths, and they have a greater wish to exert their own national and regional interests. Nelson Makamo (South Africa), The Announcement, 2016. It is this re-assertion of national and regional interests within the Global South that has revived a set of regional processes, including the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) process. On 1 June, the BRICS foreign ministers met in Cape Town (South Africa) ahead of the summit between their heads of states that is set to take place this August in Johannesburg. The joint statement they issued is instructive: twice, they warned about the negative impact of ‘unilateral economic coercive measures, such as sanctions, boycotts, embargoes, and blockades’ which have ‘produced negative effects, notably in the developing world’. The language in this statement represents a feeling that is shared across the entirety of the Global South. From Bolivia to Sri Lanka, these countries, which make up the majority of the world, are fed up with the IMF-driven debt-austerity cycle and the Triad’s bullying. They are beginning to assert their own sovereign agendas. Interestingly, this revival of sovereign politics is not being driven by inward-looking nationalism, but by a non-aligned internationalism. The BRICS ministers’ statement focuses on ‘strengthening multilateralism and upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations as its indispensable cornerstone’ (incidentally, both China and Russia are part of the twenty-member Group of Friends in Defence of the UN Charter). The implicit argument being made here is that the US-led Triad states have unilaterally imposed their narrow worldview, based on the interests of their elites, on the countries of the South under the guise of the ‘rules-based international order’. Now, the states of the Global South argue, it is time to return to the source – the UN Charter – and build a genuinely democratic international order. Leaders of the Third World at the first conference of the Non-Aligned Movement in Belgrade, 1961. Credit: Museum of Yugoslavia, Belgrade. The word ‘non-aligned’ has increasingly been used to refer to this new trend in international politics. The term has its origins in the Non-Aligned Conference held in Belgrade (Yugoslavia) in 1961, which was built upon the foundations laid at the Asian-African Conference held in Bandung (Indonesia) in 1955. In those days, non-alignment referred to countries led by movements rooted in the deeply anti-colonial Third World Project, which sought to establish the sovereignty of the new states and the dignity of their people. That moment of non-alignment was killed off by the debt crisis of the 1980s, which began with Mexico’s default in 1982. What we have now is not a return of the old non-alignment, but the emergence of a new political atmosphere and a new political constellation that requires careful study. For now, we can say that this new non-alignment is being demanded by the larger states of the Global South that are uninterested in being subordinated by the Triad’s agenda, but which have not yet established a project of their own – a Global South Project, for instance. As part of our efforts to understand this emerging dynamic, Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research will be joining with the No Cold War campaign, ALBA Movimientos, Pan-Africanism Today, the International Strategy Center (South Korea), and the International Peoples’ Assembly to host the webinar ‘The New Non-Alignment and the New Cold War’ on 17 June. Speakers will include Ronnie Kasrils (former minister of intelligence, South Africa), Sevim Dağdelen (deputy party leader for Die Linke in the German Bundestag), Stephanie Weatherbee (International Peoples’ Assembly), and Srujana Bodapati (Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research). In 1931, the Jamaican poet and journalist Una Marson (1905–1965) wrote ‘There Will Come a Time’, a poem of hopefulness for a future ‘where love and brotherhood should have full sway’. People in the colonised world, she wrote, would have to pursue a sustained battle to attain their freedom. We are nowhere near the end of that fight, yet we are not in the position of almost total subordination that we were in during the height of the Triad’s primacy, which ran from 1991 to now. It is worthwhile to go back to Marson, who knew with certainty that a more just world would come, even if she would not be alive to witness it: What matter that we be as cagèd birds Who beat their breasts against the iron bars Till blood-drops fall, and in heartbreaking songs Our souls pass out to God? These very words, In anguish sung, will mightily prevail. We will not be among the happy heirs Of this grand heritage – but unto us Will come their gratitude and praise, And children yet unborn will reap in joy What we have sown in tears. Warmly, Vijay
Sunday, February 5, 2023
Bert Brecht 1 - Peaceworker, Poet, Playwright In Commemoration of 125th Anniversary by Irene Eckert GENERAL, YOUR TANK IS A POWERFUL VEHICLE It smashes down forests and crushes a hundred men. But it has one defect: It needs a driver. Bertolt Brecht “ Peace can and must be won, to save the world from the terrible destruction of World War III” . Bert Brecht could not have agreed more with Paul Robeson' in this warning. His US American colleague, performing artist, great bass baritone expressed his concerns when awarded with the Stalin Peace, the Soviet equivalent to the Nobel Prize in 1954. Brecht was chosen for the prestigious prize only one year later. Bertolt Eugen Brecht, born 125 years ago on February 10th 1898 in Augsburg, the City of Peace, in Bavaria/Germany, the most influential dramatist of the twentieth century must be laudated again for his great contribution to the global movement for peace during the post WWII period .The German playwright was deputy director of the Academy of the Arts in the German Democratic Republic of which Paul Robeson was a corresponding member. The two men were not only among the world's greatest artists of the past century, they were brothers in spirit. Representing different continents, rooted in different cultures they share a profound love for the human race and an appreciation for the world' s cultural heritage based on true insight. Their quest for peace and justice characterizes both men' s work in a unique way. . When the German playwright died in summer 1956 the world lost the arguably greatest dramatist of the twentieth century2. Germany lost a master poet and her most articulate voice for peace. While Brecht was passing away at the early age of 58, Paul Robeson, his brother in mind, first black interpreter of Shakespeare's Othello on stage, was blacklisted, his career ruined and his strong personality gradually and purposefully destroyed by dark forces of evil. Two of the most outspoken and most popular advocates for peace were no longer available, when they were most need.They are needed now and we can treasure them by revitalizing their legacy in the light of their historical context. 1956 Year of Brecht's Death - Crucial Year for Mankind The year 1956 was a critical moment in world history3 .Wth the Cold War at its hight, West Germany had just been successfully escorted into the US led aggressive NATO alliance. In January the German Bundeswehr was formed by ex-NS generals. As a fig leaf the German Wehrmacht was re-baptised and integrated into the US-led military bloc, naturally for exclusively for peaceful purposes. To comment this satanic move with Brecht's words: “To hear the big fellows talk, they wage war from fear of God and for all things bright and beautiful” , Mother Courage and Her Children, 1939. On September 1st 1939 World War II began with Hitler's attack on Poland. In 1952, 13 years later, Brecht warned again in strong poetic rhymes against new wars on the horizon. His poem “Mankind's Memory”4 was devoted to the “People's Congress for Peace in Vienna” that took place the same year. But alas, as Brecht says: “Short lived is the memory of mankind for passed sufferings” 5. The Vienna Peace Congress hardly left any traces, but Brecht's sharp warnings could not have been more accurate. His visionary verses against the ongoing rearmament efforts, his denouncing of the devastating possibility of a thermonuclear war remain of burning current significance. Brecht already saw again “new wars on the horizon, compared with those, the past ones would only be poor exercises. And they were bound to come, if the hands of those who were preparing publicly for them were not smashed6. It is “The Big If” that distinguishes Brecht from other warning voices. The older, the more experienced Brecht, the surviver of two world wars, the refugee from the NS regime, the ardent student of many old and wise books never published anything without an impulse for possible change. Things were not supposed to remain as they were now. The poet's thinking was sharp and was meant to lead to constructive intervention. He was an educator in the best sense of the word, trying to encourage even the smallest effort that could help alter a harmful status quo. He coined a graphic new term for his methodical thinking, in German called “eingreifendes Denken” . This way of thinking that also became typical for his writing was set to encourage mindful and activating rationality. Difficult to find the Peace Prize Laureate's Peace Poetry in English English translations of Brecht's most simple and most beautiful calls for peace seem to be not so easy accessible in the world wide net.1 Brecht's “War Song” from his 1934 “Threepenny Novel” must serve to characterise his anti-war stance. Herr Hitler's rearmament program was already in full swing, the world was happy to shake hands with the Führer, while the exiled author saw the writing on the wall. He wrote, while in Denmark: And now they’re off to the war And they all need cartridges badly And of course there are plenty of nice kind people Who’ll find them the cartridges gladly “No ammunition, no war! Leave that to us, my sons! You go to the front and fight, We’ll make you ammunition and guns.” And they made ammunition in piles And there wasn’t a war to be found And of course there were plenty of nice kind people Who conjured one out of the ground. “Off you go, dear boy, to the front! For they threaten your native sod March, for your mothers and sisters, For your King and for your God!” Bertolt Brecht's War Song from Threepenny Novel ,1934 Translated by Christopher Isherwood Post WWII German Anti-Rearmament Movement 7 Gone- Brecht's Verses Remain Anti war sentiments in Germany were very strong after World War II . The popular mass movements had to be crashed forcefully with Adenauer's little Trans-Atlantic helpers. The first recruits into the post WWII German army needed to be volunteers. The provisional West German Basic Law had to be 'adapted' to allow for the provocative step of German re-armament. Of course the Potsdam Peace Agreements were violated but then the document had been defended only by pro Soviet forces anyway. To silence the massive and vociferous popular “Without Me” movement a couple of German brawns and brains needed just a little twisting. Only a moment ago even thinking aloud about German rearmament and its joining NATO would have been been self-defeating for the transatlantic adventurers.8 But in February 1956 Nikita S. Khrushchev delivered his fatal speech that would turn World War II hero Stalin into a vicious villain9 . Anti communist sentiments reached a new level, while NS master villain Reinhard Gehlen was called from Pullach to Bonn. Alan Dulles sent him there to build up the West German Intelligence Agency BND. Not much later the Federal West German Law Court would ban the strongest anti-war force in Germany, the Communist Party (KPD). Their assets were confiscated and its members outlawed. The counter-revolutionary “people's rebellion” in Hungary and its eventual forceful repression by the Russian army added another excuse for the renewed arms build up. The German Court sentence supposedly was a necessary and consequent follow up to “the mounting Soviet threat”. Brecht's Dramatic Activities in “Soviet Germany” Disturbing for NATO Build Up After having escaped the McCarthy Witch Hunt following FDR's death, Brecht flew back to Europe. Since 1949 – the year of the NATO founding act - he lived safely in the democratic part of Germany, in Berlin, capital of the GDR. In the Collective West however, this part of Brecht's homeland was always referred to as “Soviet Zone”. Until Willy Brandt's Detente Policy of the early 19seventies it remained that way. But in spite of her evil reputation, the “Soviet Zone” had become a very attractive homeland for those artists who had fled Hitler's diktat: Anna Seghers, Johannes R. Becher, Arnold Zweig, Stefan Heym to name only a few. Many of Brecht's plays were for the first time made public and put on stage in East Berlin at the Schiffsbauer Damm. The German Democratic Republic supported Brecht and his wife Helene Weigel, a fine actress and stage director graciously with the necessary means to create the theatre company “Berlin Ensemble”. With international performances of the anti-war play “Mother Courage and her Children”, the “Theater am Schiffsbauer Damm” won world fame in no time. Whereas Brecht himself, like Robeson never was a member of the Communist Party, his wife was and his leanings were well known as expressed in his writings. Most obviously this can be studied with “The Mother” . Its lead character Pelagea Vlasova is an adaption of Maxim Gorki's novel. But Brecht also advocates communism in his poetry, not only when he laudates it as explicitly as in his : “Praise of Communism“ The exploiters call it a crime, But we know: It's the end of all crimes! It isn't madness, But the end of all madness! It isn't chaos, But order! It is the simple thing, That is so hard to do.10 The NATO lead West despised him of course for this choice of place and philosophy. When in the midst of Cold War hysteria Bert Brecht now dared accept the Stalin Peace Prize11 this must have provoked the Western 'elites' even more. The rumour goes that 'respectable' Thomas Mann12 had been approached before the playwright was asked and had rejected the offer. The antifascist author Thomas Mann, popular for calling “Anticommunism the epochal error”, in his old age, must have foreseen the fall out.13 And indeed the consequences for those accepting the Soviet Peace Prize could be extremely harsh and devastating for ones reputation. 'Blessed Venerator of Stalin' with Biblical Language Skills Commemorating his 110th anniversary , Brecht was still labelled the “minstrel of the GPU”, a venerator of Stalin14 a “blessed beast”. But having said that, at least the NZZ journalist Wolf Schneider applauds Brecht's beautiful and most delicate style, when he says “ The poet Brecht has contributed enormously to the German language that he had studied with Luther's Bible translation in its intricate simplicity.” Brecht's style is indeed not only very specifically German, but it disposes of an intricate simplicity that carries a lot of meaning. The influence of the Luther Bible on Brecht's mastering his mother tongue in a most unique way is obvious to anyone half way familiar with his plays. Not only “Mother Courage” displays man paradigmatic examples. But so does the “Three Penny Opera” and the “Good Person of Sezuan”, other plays could be cited, too . The playwright himself spoke about the difficulty to translate his handling of the German language, which in his plays is enriched with regional undertones and many layers of irony and sometimes bitterly sardonic humour. In his reflections upon translation as well as in his “Essays on Realism” Brecht calls rightfully for less focus on form than on matter. With a broad definition of “realism” in mind he always sides with realism against formalism.15 “Realism”, Brecht writes later , lays bare a society’s causal network. The realistic writer shows that the dominant viewpoint is the viewpoint of the dominators; he writes from the standpoint of the class that has prepared the broadest solutions for the most pressing problems afflicting human society”. 16 There are many writers and many styles that can be called “realist” writers, says Brecht, pointing out to authors as different as Grimmelshausen, Swift, Shelley or Sergey Tretjakow. Brecht satirical poem “The anachronic procession of freedom and democracy”17 is an adaption of Percy Bysshe Shelleys „The Mask of Anarchy“18 denouncing in sardonic imagery Western style democracy 19. Not only his anti Hitler drama “Arturo Ui” borrows from Shakespeare whom he had studied closely. “Workman, seize the book, it is a weapon” B.B. Brecht is convinced: “The worst illiterate is the political illiterate, he doesn’t hear, doesn’t speak, nor participates in the political events. He doesn’t know the cost of life, the price of the bean, of the fish, of the flour, of the rent, of the shoes and of the medicine, all depends on political decisions. The political illiterate is so stupid that he is proud and swells his chest saying that he hates politics. The imbecile doesn’t know that, from his political ignorance is born the prostitute, the abandoned child, and the worst thieves of all, the bad politician, corrupted and flunky of the national and multinational companies.” Not only Brecht, but Friedrich Schiller, Heinrich Heine, Percey Shelley, Garcia Lorca, Pablo Neruda, all the worlds most popular poets were political thinkers. They all they loved nature, but also loved their homeland and were profoundly concerned about the human state of affairs and expressed this in their respective masterful ways. Why would they otherwise all be prosecuted? Politically minded Brecht would not be surprised about his work being shadow banned, himself being labeled or interpreted in a falsly superficial, a counter dialectic way, even turned upside down. He would patiently continue with his creative work. As a materialist realist and dialectic thinker he would always focus on the inherent possibility of change in every given phenomenon. He would explore new ways to educate his audience by developing an even finer and more appropriate language for the struggle of humankind, for the struggle for “kindness” and for peace on earth. The World's Kindness - „Von der Freundlichkeit der Welt“ Brecht's devotion to humankind, to his home country, in particular to the down trodden on earth, to the children, his appreciation for women and even more specifically for their plight as mothers is expressed in many simple and beautiful verses as well as in prose and of course in over 40 plays. The most famous ones were written during the NS fascist period in exile. Among the plays scripted in exile are works as “Arturo Ui”, “Galileo”, “Mother Courage and her Children”, “The Good Person of Sezuan”, “The Caucasian Chalk Circle”, “Mr.Puntilla and His Hired Man Mati”. In his efforts to express complicated stuff in an easy manner the playwright borrowed not only from Martin Luther. His forward looking dialectic thinking was shaped by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Hegel, but also by Asian philosophy. He took wisdom from where ever he could find it. On his search for new methods to achieve what he called “Freundlichkeit”(friendliness/kindness) , he combed world literature. His notion of „kindness“ is ironically contained in his ballad „The World's Kindness“. In „To Posterity“20 he deplores: „Indeed I live in the dark ages! A guileless word is an absurdity. A smooth forehead betokens A hard heart. He who laughs Has not yet heard The terrible tidings. Ah, what an age it is When to speak of trees is almost a crime ….. You, who shall emerge from the flood In which we are sinking, Think ... When you speak of our weaknesses, Also speak of the dark time That brought them forth. For we knew only too well: Even the hatred of squalor Makes the brow grow stern. Even anger against injustice Makes the voice grow harsh. Alas, we Who wished to lay the foundations of kindness Could not ourselves be kind. On Beauty and Kindness in the Ballad Taoteking In his ballad „Legend of the Origin of the Book Tao-Te-Ching on Lao-Tsu’s Road into Exile“21 Brecht processes not only the long and complicated path of his own flight from the Nazis into exile but the text contains also the essences of his late art. “Then the man, in cheerful disposition Asked again: ‘How did he make out, pray?’ Said the boy: ‘He learnt how quite soft water, by attrition Over the years will grind strong rocks away. In other words, that hardness must lose the day.’” Brecht's 'Taoteking' displays more beautifully than any other poetic text from his feather his idea of kindness and of spiritual and material solidarity. The poet discusses the win-win situation that can be achieved if working poor and intelligentsia cooperate . The narrative is based on Chinese philosophy and was inspired by a Chinese ink drawing. The writer simplifies and moves his narrative onto an hitherto unknown part of the world, to another period of time. Hereby he uses the original material in such a way that it serves as well his aesthetic and his didactic purpose. This is one of the “tricks” Brecht would elsewhere refre to as “alienation effect”. This attitude towards the spiritual heritage has lead to the accusation of “plagiarism”. Brecht, however believes in the freedom of ideas and is otherwise known for his idea sharing cooperative working style. With every single one of his efforts the dramatist tries to teach his audience so that they would eventually 'see' instead of simply 'gawk'.22 At the same time the innovative author has no illusion as to what his poetry or his dramatic art might achieve. In his testament he asks “for being reminded as person who made suggestions, hoping that they would be taken into account”. The dramatic and poetic narrative of his “Taoteking” certainly contains valuable suggestions, also inherent truths clad in an Asian coat. At the same time the poem shows us in a metaphoric way his understanding of “Eingreifendes Denken”. Eingreifendes Denken - Questioning Thinking Eingreifendes Denken”, practical/intervening/consequential thinking again, is a graphic term that Brecht coined. Sometimes it just translates as dialectic thinking, recognising the possibilities for positive change in any situation. With the “Taoteking” narrative Brecht exemplifies that a specific way of thinking has immediate consequences on the way his characters act. The specific curiosity of the customs officer leads to the written documentation of an important historical philosophical piece of art that contains useful advice for the ordinary man. The tax collector becomes more tolerant with the smugglers while the wise man is his guest. The “Taoteking” exemplifies in a nutshell what the matured Brecht is all about: Knowledge is wisdom, but is also applicable and more precious than anything money can buy. The wise man needs to be sheltered and protected. Knowledge wants to be conserved and shared. True wisdom doesn't side with power and therefore doesn't help to acquire material riches. You must ask the right questions in order to receive help. It needs him a moment of reflection before the customs man in the ballad asks about the old man's research: “Hat er was raus gekriegt? Did he find out anything noteworthy? And the short answer is: “Dass das weiche Wasser in Bewegung mit der Zeit den harten Stein besiegt, du verstehst, das Harte unterliegt.” (‘He found that quietly, soft water, by attrition will gradually grind the rocky stone away. In other words, that hardness must lose the day.') Written in 1938 this metaphor expresses Brecht's unshakable optimistic and anticipatory conviction that Hitler's regime will fall. Peaceful and persistent cooperative popular movements can overcome the most brutal “elite” in the long run. Those in power now will not have the last say. Things are not going to be as they are. Fascism will not prevail. At the same time Brecht was neither naïve nor an illusionist. He wrote elsewhere: “Where there is violence, only violence can provide the remedy”. It is all about the historical context. Brecht's Search for Kindness in his Female Stage Characters While a lot has been said about Brecht's affairs with his plenty female colleagues, his creation of the richest female characters on stage is often bypassed. The title heroine Pelagea Vlasova in „The Mother“23 of 1933 reflects a deeper than usual understanding of motherhood under the conditions of extreme poverty. It was addressed mainly to women. About fifteen thousand Berlin working-class women saw the Maxim Gorki based play. The narrative is built around the old and illiterate Pelagea Vlasova, who begins to see herself as a burden for her son. When his poor pay is even cut by a nickel an hour, she gets desperate as she doesn't know how to provide basic nourishment. “I’m no help to him anymore,” she says. But then she is getting a chance to learn how read and write and the drama develops in a different direction. In his „Good Person of Szewan“24 the author's desperate search for humanism and for a way out of human misery reaches a culmination point. The “parable in 10 scenes” is produced in 1943 but only published in 1953. The play is set in pre-revolutionary China between WWI and WWII. The title character, Shen Te, is a poor but warmhearted prostitute. Because she alone was willing to shelter the three gods on an inspection tour, they have favoured her with a gift of money. She purchases a tobacco shop but finds it difficult to cope as her kinsfolk and other customers take advantage of her kindness. To avoid bankruptcy Shen Te adopts an alter ego. Acting the role of her tough, pragmatic cousin Shui Ta, she is able to exact just payment. She is forced to the slip in the role of Shui Ta so often that she is eventually accused of having murdered Shen Te. In the climactic trial scene Shui Ta reveals that he and Shen Te are the same person. The play ends with a call for another ending . No help will come from the Gods who are leaving the solution to mankind.25 Anna Fierling and her daughter Kattrin – Two Different Heroines “Mother Courage and Her Children” (1939) is an antiwar musical stage-play. Set during the Thirty Years War in seventeenth-century Europe, the narrative in 12 scenes follows Anna Fierling, aka Mother Courage, a sutler, who operates a rolling canteen business. Along with her three children she travels across Europe selling goods to the military. While Anna vows to keep her children safe from the war, in the end, she finds herself poor, childless and alone. The play takes place over the course of twelve years,. The name Mother Courage derives from the German writings of Grimmelshausen. Mother Courage and Her Children was originally performed on stage in Zurich in 194126 In spite of leaving the scene bankrupt, Mother Courage is a very strong character. In one way she embodies the human dilemma of all centuries and the fate of women in wartime. Hardworking, intelligent and full of wit and sensuality she tries many tricks to make a bargain out of war in order to save her children. But the conditions of the ongoing Thirty Years War do neither allow her to live a decent life nor to secure a future for her children. All three women characters in “Mother Courage” are victims of war. Anna Fierling, other than her 20th century Russian sister Pelagea Vlasova, who lives after all 300 centuries later, Anna F. cannot yet see a way out of her misery. Even less so can the poor army whore see. She is dying of syphilis. The whore and Anna's daughter Kattrin are both victims of the brutality of war. But 'dumb Kattrin' is different, she is perhaps the most interesting and most challenging character we have seen on stage. The girl had lost her speech “due to what a soldier put into her mouth when she was a young child”. She remains dumb but not dimwitted. Due to her instinctive urge to protect others, she is disfigured again. In wartime this invalid rans no chance to find a husband, nor will she ever have children. 'Dumb Kattrin' is a strong metaphor for the suffering of innocent human beings through war, also symbol for the seemingly endless suffering of the human race. In this sense her image recalls the ox in Pablo Picasso's anti war cry painting “Guernica”. But with a closer look Kattrin does not symbolize helpless sufferig. Although speechless she is the only person who finds ways to counteract brutality. She is the most motherly, most human and the most expressive person in the entire play. In order to save the children of the city of Halle under a nightly assault, she sacrifices her life. As soon as she gets word of the army plans for the planned raid, she climbs on top of the roof of a farmer's house and drums as loud as she can. No threats can stop her and so she is eventually shot. But her drumming has been heard and the children can be saved. She would have saved her own brother too, had he only used his little brain more and paid attention to what Kattrin tried to communicate in her body language. In her wise way “dumb Kattrin” embodies the possibilities given to the least human individual if he or she only uses his or her God given human brain and acts more according to the voice of the heart and to natural instinct. Anna Fierling, her mother, ironically called “ Courage” on the contrary remains a hopeless case. She represents all those ordinary people who can see no way out of their misery other than to adjust themselves with the given situation. What keeps Mother Courage running up to the utter ruin is the illusionary hope for a little profit. It is such submissive capitulation that Brecht denounces as self-destructive. Brecht Inspired by Friedrich Schiller Kattrin Fierling on the contrary is in Brecht's eyes anything else but a deplorable creature, although she dies like before her two younger brothers. She is not only completely innocent, but in Schiller's sense the incorporation of a beautiful soul. The stage character of “dumb Kattrin” demands a gifted actress who can explain the specific strength in the mutilated young woman. Her death is not in vane and her sacrifice given wholeheartedly. With the creation of Kattrin Fierling, Brecht represents the modern continuation of the German Classic. Like Schiller, the modern playwright Brecht was convinced that a slave like life of submission was not humanity's destiny. Brecht would agree with Schiller's conviction that “life is not the highest of all given goods (“Das Leben ist der höchsten Güter nicht”). As Brecht shows with all his works written in exile. Struggling for a more human life on earth is worth the effort and it needs more Kattrin's with thinking hearts and minds. More explicit than Schiller of course, Brecht advocates for the need to overcome what he calls the “Great Disorder”. A social 'non order' that constantly breeds new wars needs to be overthrown. Just like the Swiss community that is suffering under unbearable repression, rightly turns to the Rütli Oath in Schiller's play 'Wilhelm Tell' , Brecht believes in the people's right to revolt against an unjustified order. For Brecht it is obvious that living conditions under the “Great Disorder” call for change. Social conditions that demand human sacrifice are meant to be abolished because they are unsustainable: “Unfortunate a country that is in need of self sacrificing heroes.” (Galileo) A social system exclusively based on profit making instead of taking care of the needs of people has no moral or economical value. “The Great Disorder” In Brecht's search for a meaningful contribution to the ongoing struggle, his attentive mind was necessarily drawn to Marxism.27 Discovering Marx' writings in the mid 1920s gradually lead him to the understanding of the profit making mechanism. From now on the profit motive seemed a key factor to him that caused human misery on earth. Brecht created the term “ Great Disorder” to describe capitalism. Its conditional and ruinous mechanism was the private ownership of the means of production causing all disorder and disruption. In his Marxist-materialist logic the ownership relations in the sphere of production needed to be turned over radically in order to enable healthy and kind relationships among people. In this light Brecht's „Mother Courage“ must fail as long as she doesn't give up her naïve expectations in the war as profit making machinery for small people. She must skip her conviction that war would allow for any spoils for her kind, a conviction that even the fate of her three children would not change. Brecht' s intention as a dramatist is to encourage the spectators to analyse and eventually see what causes Anna Fierling's tragedy. On the other hand the playwright is too much of a realist as to expect that theatre under the given circumstances could play a revolutionary role. But it was beyond him to confront his audience with an idealistic character that does hardly exist in reality. His understanding of an educator was to raise questions, to make suggestions, to encourage debate. Brecht remains a writer who believes in reason and the values of enlightenment as much as in poetry. All his late dramatic art is characterised by his believe that “You have to stand up, if you don't want to go under, surely you will understand that”. Mother Anna Fierling's stage character has been shaped by Grimmelshausen and by Friedrich Schiller's great antiwar trilogy “Wallenstein”. „Wallenstein's Camp“, part I of Schiller's drama, contains many parallels with Brecht's “Mother Courage”. Without using the terminology , the dramatist Schiller already used what Brecht would later call the “alienation effect”28. Schiller also sets his scenery 150 years back to denounce the disaster that warfare causes on human behaviour and their souls . The structural situation of Mother Courage is the same as in Schiller's prelude to Wallenstein. Even details coincide like the sutler's tent, the character of the priest, the cook, the behaviour of the mercenary soldiers. Whereas for Schiller “Wallenstein's Camp” is only a prelude to the eventually unfolding tragedy of Wallenstein and his complicated aspirations during the prolonged Thirty Years War, Brecht portraits the fate of the small people in war. What is more he warns against the impending World War II. Schiller shows the destructive effects of the prolonged war even on those who have profited most of it. But in the end the warlord Wallenstein himself and his beloved ones, become just the same victims of his own dangerous war games and career plans. While Schiller's play implies that being honest, sticking to truth and sincerity could have saved at least the principal characters, Brecht focuses generally on a fundamental solution in changing the social circumstances for the better of everybody. The twentieth century playwright sees here the sine qua non precondition for being a truthful, a sincere and a good person. While historian Schiller is interested in the complexity of the circumstantial situation, Brecht's intention is to simplify in order to help ordinary people see through the falsehood of a social machinery that needs to be stopped and altered. Having said that, he also advices the individual, if they care for a better life: “Do not fear a miserable life more than death” and here he meets his 18th century colleague Friedrich Schiller. With Schiller Brecht also stresses the importance of “ recognising and spreading historical and scientific truth” He treats the subject in depth in his play “Galileo” and in the essay “Five Difficulties for Spreading The Truth”. Friedrich Schiller and Bert Brecht – Shadow Banned and Twisted at Home The bourgeois literary class despises the socialist playwright Brecht as much as the feudal lords must have despised pre-revolutionary Friedrich Schiller for his provocative and most popular dramas. The '“Tui-s“, as Brecht baptised a specific narrow minded sort of intellectual defenders of the ruling class, did not like Brecht's turning away from his early anti-social attitudes, his juvenile rebellion and anarchism. The ruling elites had been happy to award the premature and adolescent “enfant terrible” with the prestigious 'Kleist Prize'. How could the spoilt child dare to soon prefer Karl Marx to Heinrich von Kleist and become a dialectic and materialist thinker? Studying Karl Marx would serve Brecht to see the laws of the movements of capitalism. The talented dramatist discovered the systemic origin of „ The Great Disorder“ . The trained medic wanted to ease the plight of his fellowmen as much as his predecessor and colleague Friedrich Schiller did. Both men had started off as a medics with an early lust for drama and liberty. The run away rebel Schiller wrote his anti authoritarian play “The Robbers” . Brecht wrote his 'Baal', “Drums in the Night” and “Im Dickicht der Städte” . The two humanists eventually both discovered better cures against suffering than any medicine could offer. Both artists would become the most gifted dramatists of German tongue in their century, different only in style and method. The latter is natural. They were separated by more than a crisis torn century. Both German writers today seem to be more at home abroad, indeed even in Asia,2 than in their place of origin. Good old Germany got rid of her classics, especially after the fall of the GDR that had made considerable efforts to safeguard the classical heritage. Between Schiller and Brecht lies the emerging of a revolutionary working class movement and its revisionist down fall, the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, two devastating World Wars, Fascism on a global scale, double use of the thermonuclear bomb plus an endless series of wars. But they were connected by spiritual ties, just as Paul Robeson was one of theirs. Golden Twenties: Babylon Human made earth quakes of such tremendous scope called for a new way of thinking. Brecht's response to this challenge was, what he defined as „Eingreifendes Denken“ / „intervening thinking“29 . He wrote and re-wrote his Galileo30 and he discussed the necessity of speaking truth while realistically analysing the given historical circumstances . In his early writings Brecht would use bitter and biting metaphors when he addressed the continued barbaric inhumanity that WWI had left on human souls and relations . The early Brecht could express his quest for a more human state of affairs only indirectly. But he sensed that the “Golden Twenties” of the Weimar Republic were anything but. The human ruins, the homecoming war veterans, the hungry masses would direct young writers to cynicism and sarcasm. Brecht, too had to overcome this stage as an experience. In 1929 after „The Threepenny' Opera“ was staged first, the playwright developed a new aesthetic method . His enormous world wide success albeit was unthinkable without the musical contribution of his composer colleagues Kurt Weil, Hanns Eisler and Paul Dessau. Young Brecht was among the more lucky ones who had survived the war of 1914-1918. He survived as a medic student, working in an army ambulance. In the world of art „Neue Sachlichkeit“, „New Objectivity“ evolved from Expressionism. Brecht was not part of this literary stream, nor did he ever belong to the elitist circles around Stefan George. He was on a different path searching for „a new social order where men was a helper to men“. Later he said „I always thought the most simple things had to suffice, that you have to stand up if you do not want go under surely you will understand that“31 Alas, with or without the wonderful words of just another dead poet, social conditions have not changed much within the last 100 years. In most parts of the world people still suffer under the „Great Disorder“32. Therefore it is no surprise that the artist who taught „intervening thinking“ 33 was as much praised as vilified and smeared over and over again. Often even praise was contradictory initself34. Some called him a cold blooded „formalist“, while others saw in him a „Stalinist“35, and again others would denounce him as a „Trotzkyte“, a “Lukacs adept”, a pseudo Marxist Frankfurt School alumni, a women exploiter, a bourgeois opportunist and what more36, - Brecht was neither of it - or perhaps a little bit of all at a given moment. But other than cynic Adorno, a central figure of the Frankfurt School, Brecht would always hold fast to poetry: In the dark times Will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing. About the dark times. Bert Brecht Child of Augsburg, the City of Peace and the Three Pennys Born in 1898, he was 16 years old at the start of World War I. He left school at an early age and began to study medicine and served as an army ambulance man. From the get go he rose fundamental questions. As a school boy he doubted that there was glory in dying for the imperial fatherland. In a mandatory essay he dared to contradict the official viewpoint which almost cost him his school career. What he then witnessed in the field hospital sharpened his attitude towards war and his sensitivity for human suffering. His early writings show him as an anarchist and cynic sensualist and won him soon the most prestigious German literary prize. But his talented mind had been shaped by early and intensive studies of the beautiful language of the German Luther Bible that this grandmother had recommended. These studies would have long lasting effects on his soul and style. „The Three Penny Opera“ reflects his ethics in many ironic turns. Kurt Weill's Music helped the Brecht play to denounce “The Great Disorder” in the strongest of Brecht's imagery. The harmful state of affairs still demands an answer, just as in the Epilogue of “The Good Person of Sezuan” where the author expresses his yearning for improvement and his trust in his fellowmen's capability to find a way to live in amity: We see the curtain closed, the plot un-ended. In your opinion then what' s to be done? Change human nature or the world? Well which? Believe in bigger, better gods or none? The right way out of the calamity You must find for yourselves. Ponder my friends, How men with men may live in amity And good men - women also reach good ends. There must, there must be some end That would fit, Ladies and gentlemen, help us look for it.37 With Brecht we are still trusting that humanity will indeed find ways out of the calamity it has manoeuvred itself into. In the meantime let us pursue with Brecht our search for “friendliness” and enjoy the simple pleasures the poet shares with us. “Pleasures First look from morning's window The rediscovered book Fascinated faces Snow, the change of the seasons The newspaper The dog Dialectics Showering, swimming Old music Comfortable shoes Comprehension New music Writing, planting Traveling Singing Being friendly” ― Bertolt Brecht ---------------------------------- footnotes Thanks to Elke Zwinge for her supportive suggestions. See also arte doku:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se4CalnSZtI 11555 Augsburg Peace Agreement: “Religious Peace” under the title "cuios regio, eius religio" Commemorating this major historic event, every year murals are specially made for 'The Augsburg High Peace Festival'. The day is a public holiday restricted to the city area and has been celebrated every year on August 8 since 1650. Originally, the Protestants of Augsburg celebrated the end of the Thirty Years' War, sealed by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. When Brecht died on August 14th 1956 in Berlin, GDR, Commemorating the 60th anniversary of his passing away the Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung calls their famous son “immortal”. https://www.augsburger-allgemeine.de/augsburg/Todestag-heute-Bert-Brecht-ist-tot-Brecht-ist-unsterblich-id38781847.html 2 Arthur Adamov, Ici et Maintenant, quoted after Ilya Fradkin, Bertolt Brecht Weg und Methode, translated from Russian, Dresden 1977, p. 389 3https://www.hdg.de/lemo/jahreschronik/1956 4Das Gedächtnis der Menschheit 5 Translation I.E. 6 translation I.E. 7 A future German army would be possible with a rehabilitation of the Wehrmacht. To this end, a group of former senior officers gathered on 9 October 1950 at Himmerod Abbey to produce a memorandum for Adenauer, which included these key demands: All German soldiers convicted as war criminals (Kriegsverurteilte) would be released The defamation of the German soldier, including those from the Waffen-SS, would have to cease Measures to assure the welfare of former soldiers and their widows would have to be taken https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_German_rearmament “We are experiencing a Zeitenwende.” said German Chancellor Scholz. The Zeitenwende—a watershed moment, a changing of the times. Germany wants to make a 100 billion euro pledge in military investment, raising Germany’s military budget to 2 percent of its GDP, the highest level since the end of World War II.” that was one year ago, now he pledged to send German tanks and his FM has declared war on Russia. https://progressive.org/latest/germany-rearmament-world-peace-makowski-220427 / 8 NATO Review Germany’s accession to NATO: 50 years by Helga Haftendorn http://Stepstone.de 9https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BYXahAfQ08 , Grover Furr, Khrushev Lied, 2011 10https://lyricstranslate.com . 11 The Soviet equivalent to the Nobel Peace Prize. Among other laureates: Paul Robesohn, Pablo Neruda, Louis Aragon, Anna Seghers, Stalin-Friedenspreis an Bertolt Brecht überreicht - nd-archiv.de Von unserer Moskauer Korrespondentin Katja Stern 27.05.1955 … höchste Auszeichnung, die die friedliebende Menschheit kennt, in Empfang. 12 Th. Mann, a friend of FDR, a US citizen was also pushed away from US-America, being accused of anti-American activities. Th. M. born in 1875, died in 1955 13 Having said this, it is truly deplorable that Bert Brecht did not give the great novelist Thomas Mann the credit this great author deserves. The Soviet Brecht expert Ilja Fradkin explains this through the dogmatic and narrow minded policies of the KPD until 1935, which were only then corrected. Fradkins “Bertolt Brecht – Weg und Methode” Dresden 1977, 400 pages small print, is the most insightful work on Brecht I know of (Way and Method/ original in Russian, Moskau 1965) 14 The prestigious Swiss journal Neue Züricher Zeitung (NZZ) wrote: „Begnadetes Scheusal“ NZZ 1.7. 2008 “Der Mensch Bert Brecht muss ein Scheusal gewesen sein (das waren grosse Männer oft). Der Kommunist Bert Brecht hat Stalin verherrlicht und sich dafür den Spottnamen «Minnesänger der GPU» eingehandelt. Der Dichter Bert Brecht aber hat in der deutschen Sprache und für sie Grosses geleistet: zum einen in der gemeisselten Einfachheit, die er an Luther schulte “ wolf schneider, see also https://publikationen.uni tuebingen.de/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10900/46670/pdf/Mueller_Brecht_und_Stalin.pdf?sequence=1 15 See ”Über Realismus”/ Brecht-Lukacs Debatte/ Brecht was an adversary of Lukacs' dogmatic aesthetics 16 https://literariness.org/2019/05/04/analysis-of-bertolt-brechts-plays/ 17 Bertolt Brecht: Der anachronistische Zug oder Freiheit und Democracy. In: Bertolt Brecht. Gesammelte Werke, Band 10 (Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 1967, S. 943-947) 18 Percy Bysshe Shelleys „The Mask of Anarchy“: „(…) Rise, like lions after slumber In unvanquishable number! Shake your chains to earth like dew Which in sleep had fallen on you: Ye are many – they are few! From : The Mask of Anarchy (1819) https://neuedebatte.wpcomstaging.com/2022/08/04/the-mask-of-anarchy-oder-freiheit-und-democracy-wir-sind-viele-sie-sind-wenig/ 19 The anachronic procession of freedom and democracy. https://brechtguide.library.wisc.edu/catalog/01168 20 https://www.poetry.com/poem/4317/to-posterity t ranslated by H. R. Hays 21 Bertolt Brecht, Legend of the Origin of the Book Tao-Te-Ching on Lao-Tsu’s Road into Exile : Once he was seventy and getting brittle Quiet retirement seemed the teacher’s due. In his country goodness had been weakening a little And the wickedness was gaining ground anew. So he buckled on his shoe. 2 And he packed up what he would be needing: Not much. But enough to travel light. Items like the book that he was always reading And the pipe he used to smoke at night. Bread as much as he thought right. 3 Gladly looked back at his valley, then forgot it As he turned to take the mountain track. And the ox was glad of the fresh grass it spotted Munching, with the old man on his back Happy that the pace was slack. 4 Four days out among the rocks, a barrier Where a customs man made them report. ‘What valuables have you to declare here?’ And the boy leading the ox explained: ‘The old man taught’. Nothing at all, in short. 5 Then the man, in cheerful disposition Asked again: ‘How did he make out, pray?’ Said the boy: ‘He learnt how quite soft water, by attrition Over the years will grind strong rocks away. In other words, that hardness must lose the day.’ 6 Then the boy tugged at the ox to get it started Anxious to move on, for it was late. But as they disappeared behind a fir tree which they skirted Something suddenly began to agitate The man, who shouted: ‘Hey, you! Wait!’ 7 ‘What was that you said about the water?’ Old man pauses: ‘Do you want to know?’ Man replies: “I’m not at all important Who wins or loses interests me, though. If you’ve found out, say so. 8 ‘Write it down. Dictate it to your boy there. Once you’ve gone, who can we find out from? There are pen and ink for your employ here And a supper we can share; this is my home It’s a bargain: come! 9 Turning round, the old man looks in sorrow At the man. Worn tunic. Got no shoes. And his forehead just a single furrow. Ah, no winner this he’s talking to. And he softly says: ‘You too?’ 10 Snubbing of politely put suggestions Seems to be unheard of by the old. For the old man said: ‘Those who ask questions Deserve answers’. Then the boy: ‘What’s more, it’s turning cold’. ‘Right, then get my bed unrolled.’ 11 Stiffly from his ox the sage dismounted. Seven days he wrote there with his friend. And the man brought them their meals (and all the smugglers were astounded At what seemed this sudden lenient trend). And then came the end. 12 And the boy handed over what they’d written— Eighty-one sayings—early one day. And they thanked the man for the alms he’d given Went round the fir and climbed the rocky way. Who was so polite as they? 13 But the honour should not be restricted To the sage whose name is clearly writ. For a wise man’s wisdom needs to be extracted. So the customs man deserves his bit. It was he who called for it. Written 1938; published 1939 22 Glotzt nicht so romantisch: Do not gawk in such a romantic fashion. We need a type of theatre which not only releases the feelings, insights and impulses possible within the particular historical field of human relations in which the action takes place, but employs and encourages those thoughts and feelings which help transform the field itself.Kleines Organon für das Theater (written 1948, published 1949), as translated in Brecht on Theatre (1964), translated and edited by John Willett 23” Die Mutter. Leben der Revolutionärin Pelagea Wlassowa aus Twer ist ein Theaterstück, geschrieben von Bertolt Brecht nach dem gleichnamigen Roman von Maxim Gorki (1906/1907, deutsch 1907) unter Verwendung einer Dramatisierung von Günther Stark und Günther Weisenborn.Am 31. Januar 1932 im Komödienhaus am Schiffbauerdamm mit Helene Weigel in der Hauptrolle uraufgeführt, handelt dieses Lehrstück von einer Frau „zwischen Arbeitslosigkeit, Lohnkürzungen, politischer Agitation und ‚Sachzwängen‘“.Die Handlung von Gorkis Roman wurde von Brecht in die Zeit zwischen 1905 und 1917 verlagert. 24.socialiststories.com/en/writers/Brecht-Bertolt/The-Good-Person-of-Szechuan-Bertolt-Brecht.pdf 25 See NASRULLAH MAMBROL, research fellow at the english department at the university of kannur (kerala/ india) great analysis of Bertolt Brecht’s plays https://literariness.org/2019/05/04/analysis-of-bertolt-brechts-plays/ 26 https://www.supersummary.com/mother-courage-and-her-children/summary/ 27 See for this his close collaborator Hanns Eisler ,Gespräche mit Hans Bunge, “Fragen Sie mehr über Brecht”, LEIPZIG 1975, VEB VERLAG MUSIK 28 See for this and above all here his usage of the chorus in Schiller's “Bride of Messina” 29 Eingreifendes Denken/ Dialektik/for Brecht a method helping people see the inherent contradictions and possibilities for forward looking change in every phenomenon 30 Kurz vor seinem Tod, nachdem er in Moskau noch den Stalin Preis angenommen hatte, arbeitete Brecht an der BE-Premiere seines „Galileo Galilei“. Darin geht es um das Ethos des Forschers Galilei, der unter Androhung der Inquisition sein besseres Wissen widerruft, aber die Wissenschaft heimlich weiter betreibt. Von Peter von Becker 21.03.2019, 18:15 Uhr Tagesspiegel Until his unexpected death he worked on his “Galileo,” which he wanted to stage the play in Berlin, the Capital of the GDR. After the US dropping of the A-bomb on Hiroshima he had changed the script. On the difficulties for the intellectual to stay with the truth he says among other things On writing the truth: “He must have the courage to write the truth when truth is everywhere opposed; the keenness to recognize it, although it is everywhere concealed; the skill to manipulate it as a weapon; the judgment to select those in whose hands it will be effective; and the cunning to spread the truth among such persons." ― Bertolt Brecht, Galileo 31"Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. 32 Die Große Unordnung = war breeding capitalism, implying that the situation needs to be changed for good 33 Eingreifendes Denken = Dialektik, a method of thinking that has immediate effect on the way you are behaving and acting, helps you to see the situation from a different angel. Die materialistische, anti-ideale, plebejische Sicht stellt das apologetische Weltbild auf den Kopf. Die revolutionäre Konsequenz dieser Sehweise hat Brecht noch 1954, bei der Verleihung des Internationalen Stalin-Friedenspreises, hervorgehoben: die wichtigste Lehre der Oktoberrevolution habe darin bestanden, daß eine Zukunft für die Menschheit nur ,von unten her‘, vom Standpunkt der Unterdrückten und Ausgebeuteten aus, sichtbar wurde. Nur mit ihnen kämpfend, kämpft man für die Menschheit. Von hier aus lassen sich Wahrheiten finden, deren Eigenschaft es ist, die Dinge dieser Welt handhabbar zu machen. http://www.planetlyrik.de/bertolt-brecht-von-der-freundlichkeit-der-welt/2019/05/ 34 Brecht was, first, a superior poet, with a command of many styles and moods. As a playwright he was an intensive worker, a restless piecer-together of ideas not always his own (The Threepenny Opera is based on John Gay’s Beggar’s Opera, and Edward II on Marlowe), a sardonic humorist, and a man of rare musical and visual awareness; but he was often bad at creating living characters or at giving his plays tension and shape. As a producer he liked lightness, clarity, and firmly knotted narrative sequence; a perfectionist, he forced the German theatre, against its nature, to underplay. As a theoretician he made principles out of his preferences—and even out of his faults.https://www.britannica.com/biography/Bertolt-Brecht 35 denigrated or boycotted in the West for his Communist opinions, he yet had a great triumph at the Paris Théâtre des Nations in 1955, and in the same year in Moscow he received a Stalin Peace Prize. He died of a heart attack in East Berlin the following year. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Bertolt-Brecht 36 Commemorating Brecht's 110th birthday in 2008 Wolf Schneider of the Swiss daily NZZ - Neue Züricher Zeitung calls the writer a „blessed ghoul“ , „ein begnadetes Scheusal“ because „he was a communist and he venerated Stalin“ But at last „he was no fascist“ concedes graciously Bachelor of Arts student Anna Silwa in 2007 in her widely seen graduate paper. Bachelor of Arts Anna Sliwa , 2007, Bertolt Brecht ein Stalinist?, München, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/115253 37 B. B. epilogue to “The Good Person of Sezuan” see also: See Yasemin Eckert, Brecht Adaptionen in Indien Goethe Institut in Sofia Marks Bertolt Brecht’s 125th Birth Anniversary BISTRA ROUSHKOVA A scene from Mother Courage and Her Children (Goethe Institut Photo) SOFIA, 01.02.2023 08:01 (BTA) Goethe Institut ismarking the 125th anniversary of German dramatist and poet Bertolt Brecht with a screening of a filming of his emblematic play, Mother Courage and Her Children, scheduled for February 8, the Institut said. The play produced on the stage of the Berliner Ensemble was directed by Bertolt Brecht himself and Erich Engel. The production was filmed between 1959 and 1961, a little after Brecht passed away. The recording shows an onstage performance of the play that had already been shown 400 times. Brecht wrote Mother Courage and Her Children during his voluntary exile in Sweden in 1938-1939 in protest against the rise of fascism and Nazism, as well as the invasion of Hitler’s army into Poland in 1939. The film was produced by DEFA, the German Democratic Republic’s state film studio, and was screened simultaneously in 14 GDR cities when it was premiered in February 1961 to mark Brecht’s 63rd birthday. Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht (February 10, 1898 – August 14, 1956), known professionally as Bertolt Brecht, was born in Augsburg, Germany. A theatre practitioner, playwright, and poet, with the onset of the Nazi Germany period, Brecht fled his home country, first to Denmark, then in 1941 to the United States, where he was subsequently declared a communist. Returning to East Berlin after the war in 1948, he established the theatre company Berliner Ensemble with his wife and long-time collaborator, actress Helene Weigel. His most popular plays include The Threepenny Opera, The Good Person of Szechwan and The Caucasian Chalk Circle, among others. /BR https://bta.bg/en/news/culture/399203--gyote-institut-otbelyazva-125-godishninata-ot-rozhdenieto-na-bertolt-breht
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
15. Januar 2023 Autor: Dmitri Trenin in Allgemein, übernommen mit Dank an globalbridge.ch 16. Januar 2023 Prognosen zu politischen Entwicklungen abzugeben, ist nicht nur eine undankbare Aufgabe, sondern in einer Zeit des raschen Wandels, wie wir ihn vor fast einem Jahr erlebt haben, auch sinnlos. Gleichzeitig besteht aber sowohl die Notwendigkeit als auch die Möglichkeit, die wichtigsten Trends zu verstehen, die die moderne Welt prägen. In diesem kurzen Ausblick werden wir versuchen, die wichtigsten Entwicklungen der internationalen Position Russlands und seiner Beziehungen zu den wichtigsten Akteuren im kommenden Jahr zu skizzieren. Russland und seine NachbarnRussland und seine direkten Nachbarn. 1. Die Ukraine Der Krieg in der Ukraine nimmt die Züge eines kompromisslosen Konflikts zwischen Russland und dem US-zentrierten Westen an. Die Tendenz zur Eskalation der Feindseligkeiten ist weiterhin vorherrschend. In diesem Krieg steht für beide Seiten viel auf dem Spiel, aber für Russland natürlich viel mehr als für die USA oder Europa. Es geht nicht nur um die äußere Sicherheit Russlands, seinen Platz und seine Rolle in der Welt, sondern auch um die innere Stabilität, die Stabilität des politischen Regimes und die Zukunft der russischen Staatlichkeit selbst. Mit der Teilmobilisierung im Herbst ist der Krieg bereits zu einem nationalen Krieg geworden; in nicht allzu ferner Zukunft könnte sich das, was als militärische Spezialoperation begann, durchaus zu einem großen patriotischen Krieg entwickeln. Alle Kriege enden irgendwann auf Basis irgendeiner Vereinbarung. Die Möglichkeit eines Friedensabkommens oder gar eines dauerhaften Waffenstillstands – nach koreanischem Vorbild – ist jedoch eher gering. Die maximalen Zugeständnisse, die Washington hypothetisch machen könnte, sind extrem weit von den Mindestzielen entfernt, die Moskau unbedingt erreichen muss. Ziel der USA ist es, Russland aus dem Kreis der Großmächte zu verdrängen, einen Regimewechsel in Moskau herbeizuführen und damit China eines wichtigen strategischen Partners zu berauben. Ihre Strategie besteht darin, die russische Armee an der Front zu zermürben, die russische Gesellschaft an der Heimatfront zu schwächen, indem das Vertrauen in die höchsten Regierungsebenen untergraben wird, und schließlich die Kapitulation des Kremls zu erreichen. Russland verfügt über die Mittel und Fähigkeiten, diese Pläne zu vereiteln und seine eigenen Ziele zu erreichen – und zwar auf eine Weise, die die Aussicht auf einen erneuten Krieg nach einiger Zeit vermeidet. Der Krieg in der Ukraine wird vielleicht nicht im Jahr 2023 enden, aber die nächsten 12 Monate werden die Frage beantworten, wessen Wille stärker ist und welche Seite sich letztlich durchsetzen wird. 2. Der Westen Bislang ist der Ukraine-Konflikt ein indirekter Krieg zwischen Russland und dem NATO-Block. Die schleichende Eskalation der westlichen Beteiligung an diesem Krieg mit dem Ziel, Russland eine „strategische Niederlage“ zuzufügen, führt jedoch zu einem möglichen direkten bewaffneten Zusammenstoß zwischen den russischen Streitkräften und den militärischen Verbänden der westlichen Länder. Wenn dies geschieht, wird sich der Ukraine-Konflikt in einen Krieg zwischen Russland und der NATO verwandeln. Ein solcher Krieg birgt unweigerlich das Risiko von Atomwaffen in sich. Die Situation wird dadurch kompliziert, dass die verzweifelten Kiewer Behörden versuchen könnten, die NATO-Länder zu einem direkten Kriegseintritt zu bewegen. Selbst wenn es nicht zu einem direkten Zusammenstoß kommt, wird die allgemeine Feindseligkeit des Westens gegenüber Russland zunehmen. Die Wirtschaftsbeziehungen zwischen Russland und der EU, die im vergangenen Jahr einen von den Europäern selbst verursachten vernichtenden Schlag erlitten haben, werden trotz des enormen Schadens, der durch diesen „Schuss ins eigene Knie“ verursacht wurde, weiter schrumpfen und absterben. In der Tat isolieren sich die EU-Länder zunehmend von Russland, betrachten es als Bedrohung und wandeln diese Bedrohung in einen Faktor des internen Zusammenhalts um. Die „europäische Sicherheit“, die ein halbes Jahrhundert lang ein angenehmer und beliebter Ort der internationalen Diplomatie und zugleich ein außenpolitisches Mantra war, hat ihren Schreibstift gegen ein Schwert ausgetauscht – oder genauer gesagt: gegen Artilleriesysteme. Die Ukraine ist bei weitem der wichtigste Teil der russisch-westlichen Konfrontationsfront, aber nicht der einzige. Diese Front erstreckt sich im Norden über Weißrussland, Kaliningrad und das Baltikum bis zur Arktis und im Süden über Moldawien, das Schwarze Meer, Transkaukasien, Kasachstan und Zentralasien. Besondere Aufmerksamkeit verdienen 2023 Armenien und Kasachstan, wo der Westen antirussische nationalistische Kräfte unterstützt, sowie Moldawien und Georgien, wo es darum geht, langjährige Konflikte zu schüren und damit – neben der Ukraine – eine „zweite Front“ gegen Russland zu eröffnen. In den Beziehungen zu den USA ist der Dialog längst einer hybriden Kriegsführung gewichen, bei der die Ukraine zwar nur einen, aber den sichtbarsten Teil darstellt. Washington ist ernsthaft damit beschäftigt, seine Weltherrschaft auf aktive und riskante Weise zu behaupten. Russland ist für die USA nicht der Hauptgegner, aber derjenige, der zuerst besiegt werden muss. Die Außenpolitik der USA ist absolut rücksichtslos – egal ob gegenüber Rivalen, Gegnern oder Verbündeten – und Russland kann sich nur auf seine eigene Stärke und seine verbleibende Fähigkeit verlassen, Amerika in Schach zu halten. Im Vorfeld der US-Präsidentschaftswahlen 2024 spitzt sich der politische Kampf wie immer zu. Die Republikanische Partei, die kürzlich das Repräsentantenhaus zurückgewonnen hat, wird wahrscheinlich eine größere Rechenschaftspflicht für die Verwendung der für die Unterstützung der Ukraine bereitgestellten Mittel fordern. Im Prinzip könnten diese Mittel etwas gekürzt werden. Dennoch teilen die meisten Republikaner die allgemeine Haltung der demokratischen Regierung von Joe Biden gegenüber der Ukraine und Russland, was eine für Moskau günstige Änderung der US-Politik im kommenden Jahr sehr unwahrscheinlich macht. In den japanisch-russischen Beziehungen kehrt die Feindseligkeit aus der Zeit des Kalten Krieges zurück und ersetzt das von Tokio verworfene Erbe der Zusammenarbeit aus der Ära des verstorbenen Premierministers Shinzo Abe. Zwar beabsichtigt die japanische Seite im Gegensatz zu den Europäern nicht, ihre Energiebezüge von Russland zu stoppen, aber die Stärkung des amerikanisch-japanischen Bündnisses, die anhaltende militärische und politische Annäherung zwischen Russland und China und die zunehmenden Spannungen auf der koreanischen Halbinsel haben dazu beigetragen, die frühere Konfrontation zwischen Russland, China und Nordkorea einerseits und den USA, Japan und Südkorea andererseits wieder aufleben zu lassen. 3. Der Osten. Weißrussland bleibt unter den gegenwärtigen Umständen der einzige vollwertige Verbündete Russlands. Gleichzeitig unterhält Moskau partnerschaftliche Beziehungen zu einer Reihe von Staaten, deren Bedeutung und Gewicht in der modernen Welt in den letzten Jahrzehnten erheblich zugenommen haben und weiter zunehmen. Dazu gehören die Großmächte China und Indien, die regionalen Akteure Brasilien, Iran, Türkei und Südafrika sowie die Golfstaaten, vor allem Saudi-Arabien und die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate. Diese Länder – und mit ihnen Dutzende von anderen – haben sich den westlichen Sanktionen gegen Russland nicht angeschlossen und arbeiten weiterhin mit Russland zusammen. Die Länder Asiens, Afrikas und Lateinamerikas, die in Russland zunehmend als „Weltmehrheit“ bezeichnet werden, bleiben zwar innerhalb des Finanzimperiums von Washington, müssen aber die Auswirkungen der auch sie betreffenden US-Sanktionen irgendwie mitberücksichtigen. Dies gilt in vollem Umfang für China. Die russisch-chinesische Partnerschaft „ohne Grenzen“ ist ein umfassender Slogan, der die Bereitschaft beider Mächte ausdrückt, die Zusammenarbeit in allen Bereichen und in jeder Tiefe auszubauen. Trotz Washingtons Bemühungen, die chinesisch-russischen Beziehungen im Zuge des Ukraine-Konflikts zu belasten, werden die Beziehungen zwischen Peking und Moskau sowohl wirtschaftlich als auch militärisch immer enger. Der für das Frühjahr 2023 geplante Besuch des chinesischen Präsidenten Xi Jinping in Russland wird ein Beweis für die anhaltende Annäherung zwischen den beiden Mächten sein. Dabei ist zu bedenken, dass jede Seite auf der Grundlage ihrer nationalen Interessen handelt. Die USA sind jetzt Russlands Gegner und Rivale und für China nur ein potenzieller Gegner, und es reicht noch nicht aus, ein Militärbündnis zwischen Moskau und Peking zu schließen. Die chinesische Führung hegt natürlich die wirtschaftlichen Interessen ihres Landes auf dem amerikanischen und europäischen Markt. Peking könnte diesen Ansatz überdenken, aber nur, wenn es davon überzeugt ist, dass Washington vom Rivalen zum Feind der VR China geworden ist. China würde eine solche Kehrtwende nicht um Russlands willen vollziehen. Auch unsere Beziehungen zu Indien sind kompliziert. Dieses Land hat, wie China, den Status eines strategischen Partners in Moskau. Gleichzeitig ist Indien, das sich zum Ziel gesetzt hat, in diesem Jahrzehnt einen gewaltigen wirtschaftlichen Durchbruch zu erzielen, an einer wirtschaftlichen und technologischen Zusammenarbeit mit den USA, den EU-Ländern und Japan sehr interessiert. Darüber hinaus betrachtet Neu-Delhi Peking als seinen Hauptrivalen und als Quelle einer potenziellen militärischen Bedrohung: An der Grenze zwischen den beiden größten Ländern Asiens schwelen weiterhin bewaffnete Konflikte, die sporadisch ausbrechen. Neben der Mitgliedschaft in den BRICS und der SCO ist Indien auch Mitglied der Quad-Gruppe, die von den USA als antichinesische Allianz betrachtet wird. Unter diesen Umständen muss Moskau im Jahr 2023 seine Position in Indien mit Nachdruck festigen, aktiv mit den indischen Eliten zusammenarbeiten, die russische Außenpolitik überzeugend erläutern und den Versuchen ihrer Verzerrung durch die überwiegend westlichen Medien entgegentreten; neue Möglichkeiten für die wirtschaftliche, technologische und wissenschaftliche Zusammenarbeit mit Indien finden und entwickeln; versuchen, sich auf internationalen Plattformen und Foren produktiv mit Indien zu engagieren. Im Gegenteil, ein weiteres Abdriften der Beziehungen zwischen Russland und Indien würde bedeuten, dass sich Delhi von Moskau entfernt. Im vergangenen Jahr war der Iran das einzige Land, das Russland mit Waffensystemen aus eigener Produktion belieferte. Gleichzeitig begann Teheran mit dem Prozess des Beitritts zur Shanghaier Organisation für Zusammenarbeit. Der Nord-Süd-Verkehrskorridor, der Russland mit den Ländern am Persischen Golf, Indien und Südasien verbindet, hat angesichts der westlichen Sanktionen mehr denn je an Bedeutung gewonnen. Auch im vergangenen Jahr wurde endgültig klar, dass das Atomabkommen mit dem Iran nicht verlängert wird. Unter anderem bedeutet dies zumindest die Aussetzung und möglicherweise das Ende der mehr als ein halbes Jahrhundert währenden Zusammenarbeit zwischen Russland und den USA bei der Nichtverbreitung von Kernwaffen. Im Jahr 2023 wird der Prozess der Annäherung zwischen Iran und Russland fortgesetzt. Dazu müssen wir die russische Strategie gegenüber diesem Land verfeinern und intensivieren. Die Beziehungen Moskaus zu Teheran wirken sich unmittelbar auf die Beziehungen zu den arabischen Hauptstädten und Ankara aus. In der Region gibt es mehrere Machtzentren. Die arabischen Golfstaaten (insbesondere Saudi-Arabien und die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate) verfolgen zunehmend eine multisektorale Politik, die sich von einer klaren Ausrichtung auf die USA abwendet und Beziehungen zu China und Russland aufbaut. Dieser Trend wird sich wahrscheinlich nicht nur fortsetzen, sondern auch verstärken. Moskau, das bereits 2019 das Konzept der regionalen Sicherheit in der Golfregion vorstellte, könnte in diesem Jahr seine Bemühungen zur Förderung des Dialogs zwischen dem Iran und seinen südlichen Nachbarn verstärken. Im Jahr 2023, dem hundertsten Jahr der Ausrufung der Republik, stehen in der Türkei Präsidentschaftswahlen an. Die Bedeutung der Türkei in der russischen Außenpolitik hat in letzter Zeit dramatisch zugenommen. Dies ist das Ergebnis mehrerer Kriege – Syrien, zweiter Karabach-Krieg und Ukraine-Krieg – sowie des Zusammenbruchs der normalen Beziehungen zwischen Russland und Europa, der die Türkei zu einer Transport-, Logistik- und Gasdrehscheibe gemacht hat, über die Russland noch immer mit der euro-atlantischen Welt interagiert. Die türkische Opposition ist entschlossen, die mehr als 20 Jahre währende Vorherrschaft von Tayyip Recep Erdogan zu beenden, der seinerseits für eine weitere (wie er behauptet) Amtszeit als Präsident kandidieren will. Wir werden keine Vorhersagen über den Ausgang der Abstimmung machen. Wir verweisen lediglich auf die Tendenz der türkischen Regionalmacht, sich zu einem wichtigen unabhängigen Akteur mit globalen Ambitionen zu entwickeln, was Ankara oft zu einem unverzichtbaren, wenn auch schwierigen Partner für Russland macht. 4. Die nächsten Nachbarn Dieser letzte Punkt ist irrelevant. Das Thema der Beziehungen zu den Nachbarstaaten ist für Russland im Jahr 2022 in den Vordergrund gerückt. Dieser Trend wird sich in naher Zukunft fortsetzen. Für Russland wird es nichts Wichtigeres geben, als einen bedeutenden Erfolg und schließlich den Sieg in der Ukraine zu erringen; es wird keinen engeren Verbündeten und Partner als Belarus haben; es gibt keine größere potenzielle Gefahr als das Aufkommen eines ethnischen Nationalismus in Kasachstan und einen Riss in den Beziehungen zwischen Moskau und Astana. Weitere Gefahren sind ein Versuch Chisinaus, in Zusammenarbeit mit Kiew und mit westlicher Unterstützung das Transnistrien-Problem zu lösen, die Aussicht auf erneute Feindseligkeiten zwischen Armenien und Aserbaidschan, ein erneuter Ausbruch von Grenzstreitigkeiten zwischen Kirgisistan und Tadschikistan sowie eine innere Destabilisierung in einem Nachbarland. Andererseits hat sich im vergangenen Jahr unter dem Eindruck enormer geopolitischer, strategischer und geoökonomischer Veränderungen gezeigt, dass die wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit im Rahmen der „Eurasischen Wirtschaftsunion“ (EAEU) und die militärisch-politische Zusammenarbeit im Rahmen der „Organisation des Vertrags über kollektive Sicherheit“ (OVKS) auf ein grundlegend anderes Niveau gebracht werden müssen. Von den bilateralen Beziehungen in beiden Bereichen ist die russisch-usbekistanische Beziehung als besonders vielversprechend hervorzuheben. In Anbetracht der beispiellosen geopolitischen Spannungen, die in den letzten Jahrzehnten entlang der gesamten neuen postsowjetischen Grenzen Russlands aufgetreten sind, sind hier mehr Aufmerksamkeit, Verständnis, Anstrengungen und Ergebnisse von Moskau erforderlich. Dies wird wahrscheinlich eine der wichtigsten – wenn nicht sogar die wichtigste – Herausforderung für die russische Außenpolitik im Jahr 2023 sein. Meinungen in Beiträgen auf Globalbridge.ch entsprechen jeweils den persönlichen Einschätzungen der Autorin oder des Autors. Zum Autor: Dmitri Trenin ist Forschungsprofessor an der „Higher School of Economics“ in Moskau und einer der führenden Forscher am IMEMO RAS. Anfang Jahr hat der ukrainische Präsident Wolodymyr Selenskyj Dmitri Trenin auf eine Sanktionsliste gesetzt, siehe hier. Seine hier in russischer Sprache verfasste Analyse schrieb er für die Ausgabe vom 16. Januar 2023 der in Moskau erscheinenden russischen Wochenzeitschrift “Profil“ (Профиль). Die Übersetzung aus dem Russischen besorgten mit Dmitri Trenins ausdrücklicher Bewilligung Anna Wetlinska und Christian Müller. Quelle: https://globalbridge.ch/die-aufgaben-die-russland-im-jahr-2023-angehen-muss/ Mit freundlicher Genehmigung von GlobalBridge.ch
Saturday, March 19, 2022
„Die Menschen dieses Landes sind keine Untertanen.“ – Hans-Jürgen Papier Search for: KRiStA – Netzwerk Kritische Richter und Staatsanwälte n.e.V. Home Beiträge Über uns Satzung Kontakt MRZ 18 2022 Stellungnahme von KRiStA zur öffentlichen Anhörung im Gesundheitsausschuss am 21. März 2022 ab 10:00 Uhr zum Thema „Impfpflicht“ 2 Minuten Lesedauer Das Netzwerk KRiStA hat für die Anhörung im Gesundheitsausschuss zum Thema „Impfpflicht“ am kommenden Montag, 21. März 2022, eine Stellungnahme erarbeitet. Diese wurde dem Gesundheitsausschuss heute zugeleitet und wird hier zum DOWNLOAD zur Verfügung gestellt. Unvereinbarkeit der Impfpflicht mit den COVID-19-Impfstoffen mit dem Grundgesetz sowie mit bindendem Völkerrecht Die Stellungnahme zeigt auf, dass die in den oben genannten Gesetzentwürfen bzw. in dem Antrag geplante Impfpflicht – sei es eine allgemeine oder eine auf Vorrat oder beschränkt auf bestimmte Altersgruppen – mit dem Grundgesetz und bindendem Völkerrecht nicht vereinbar ist. Bei dem festzustellenden Verstoß gegen des Grundgesetz wird der Schwerpunkt der Darstellung auf eine bislang wenig beachtete Problematik gelegt, nämlich auf den Umstand, dass der Staat mit einer Impfpflicht vorsätzlich Menschen tötet – wenn auch im Verhältnis zur Gesamtzahl der Impfungen in geringer Zahl. Dies ist mit der Menschenwürdegarantie des Grundgesetzes unvereinbar (I.). Im völkerrechtlichen Bereich werden Verstöße gegen die Europäische Menschenrechtskonvention und den Internationalen Pakt über bürgerliche und politische Rechte aufgezeigt (II.).
Thursday, March 17, 2022
An Overview of the Bay of Pigs and its Relevance for Today Cynthia Chung Mar 17
“There is a kind of character in thy life, That to the observer doth thy history, fully unfold.”– William Shakespeare Once again we find ourselves in a situation of crisis, where the entire world holds its breath all at once and can only wait to see whether this volatile black cloud floating amongst us will breakout into a thunderstorm of nuclear war or harmlessly pass us by. The majority in the world seem to have the impression that this destructive fate totters back and forth at the whim of one man. It is only normal then, that during such times of crisis, we find ourselves trying to analyze and predict the thoughts and motives of just this one person. However, in order to assess such situations, we cannot lose sight of the whole picture, and righteous indignation unfortunately causes the opposite to occur. Our focus becomes narrower and narrower to the point where we can only see or react moment to moment with what is right in front of our face. We are reduced to an obsession of twitter feeds, news blips and the doublespeak of ‘official government statements’. Thus, before we may find firm ground to stand on regarding the situation of today, we must first have an understanding as to what caused the United States to enter into an endless campaign of regime-change warfare after WWII, or as former Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff Col. Prouty stated, three decades of the Indochina war. An Internal Shifting of Chess Pieces in the Shadows It is interesting timing that on Sept 2, 1945, the very day that WWII ended, Ho Chi Minh would announce the independence of Indochina. That on the very day that one of the most destructive wars to ever occur in history ended, another long war was declared at its doorstep. Churchill would announce his “Iron Curtain” against communism on March 5th, 1946, and there was no turning back at that point. The world had a mere 6 months to recover before it would be embroiled in another terrible war, except for the French, who would go to war against the Viet Minh opponents in French Indochina only days after WWII was over. In a previous paper I wrote titled “On Churchill’s Sinews of Peace”, I went over a major re-organisation of the American government and its foreign intelligence bureau on the onset of Truman’s de facto presidency. Recall that there was an attempted military coup d’état, which was exposed by General Butler in a public address in 1933, against the Presidency of FDR who was only inaugurated that year. One could say that there was a very marked disapproval from shadowy corners for how Roosevelt would organise the government. One key element to this reorganisation under Truman was the dismantling of the previously existing foreign intelligence bureau that was formed by FDR, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) on Sept 20, 1945 only two weeks after WWII was officially declared over. The OSS would be replaced by the CIA officially on Sept 18, 1947, with two years of an American intelligence purge and the internal shifting of chess pieces in the shadows. In addition, de-facto President Truman would also found the United States National Security Council on Sept 18, 1947, the same day he founded the CIA. The NSC was a council whose intended function was to serve as the President’s principal arm for coordinating national security, foreign policies and policies among various government agencies. In Col. Prouty’s book he states, “In 1955, I was designated to establish an office of special operations in compliance with National Security Council (NSC) Directive #5412 of March 15, 1954. This NSC Directive for the first time in the history of the United States defined covert operations and assigned that role to the Central Intelligence Agency to perform such missions, provided they had been directed to do so by the NSC, and further ordered active-duty Armed Forces personnel to avoid such operations. At the same time, the Armed Forces were directed to “provide the military support of the clandestine operations of the CIA” as an official function.” What this meant, was that there was to be an intermarriage of the foreign intelligence bureau with the military, and that the foreign intelligence bureau would act as top dog in the relationship, only taking orders from the NSC. Though the NSC includes the President, as we will see, the President is very far from being in the position of determining the NSC’s policies. An Inheritance of Secret Wars “There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.” – Sun Tzu On January 20th, 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as President of the United States. Along with inheriting the responsibility of the welfare of the country and its people, he was to also inherit a secret war with communist Cuba run by the CIA. JFK was disliked from the onset by the CIA and certain corridors of the Pentagon as they knew where he stood on foreign matters and that it would be in direct conflict for what they had been working towards for nearly 15 years. Kennedy would inherit the CIA secret operation against Cuba, which Prouty confirms in his book, was quietly upgraded by the CIA from the Eisenhower administration’s March 1960 approval of a modest Cuban-exile support program (which included small air drop and over-the-beach operations) to a 3,000 man invasion brigade just before Kennedy entered office. This was a massive change in plans that was determined by neither President Eisenhower, who warned at the end of his term of the military industrial complex as a loose cannon, nor President Kennedy, but rather the foreign intelligence bureau who has never been subject to election or judgement by the people. It shows the level of hostility that Kennedy encountered as soon as he entered office, and the limitations of a President’s power when he does not hold support from these intelligence and military quarters. Within three months into JFK’s term, Operation Bay of Pigs (April 17th to 20th 1961) was scheduled. As the popular revisionist history goes; JFK refused to provide air cover for the exiled Cuban brigade and the land invasion was a calamitous failure and a decisive victory for Castro’s Cuba. It was indeed an embarrassment for President Kennedy who had to take public responsibility for the failure, however, it was not an embarrassment because of his questionable competence as a leader. It was an embarrassment because, had he not taken public responsibility, he would have had to explain the real reason why it failed. That the CIA and military were against him and that he did not have control over them. If Kennedy were to admit such a thing, he would have lost all credibility as a President in his own country and internationally, and would have put the people of the United States in immediate danger amidst a Cold War. What really occurred was that there was a cancellation of the essential pre-dawn airstrike, by the Cuban Exile Brigade bombers from Nicaragua, to destroy Castro’s last three combat jets. This airstrike was ordered by Kennedy himself. Kennedy was always against an American invasion of Cuba, and striking Castro’s last jets by the Cuban Exile Brigade would have limited Castro’s threat, without the U.S. directly supporting a regime change operation within Cuba. This went fully against the CIA’s plan for Cuba. Kennedy’s order for the airstrike on Castro’s jets would be cancelled by Special Assistant for National Security Affairs McGeorge Bundy, four hours before the Exile Brigade’s B-26s were to take off from Nicaragua, Kennedy was not brought into this decision. In addition, the Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles, the man in charge of the Bay of Pigs operation was unbelievably out of the country on the day of the landings. Col. Prouty, who was Chief of Special Operations during this time, elaborates on this situation: “Everyone connected with the planning of the Bay of Pigs invasion knew that the policy dictated by NSC 5412, positively prohibited the utilization of active-duty military personnel in covert operations. At no time was an “air cover” position written into the official invasion plan…The “air cover” story that has been created is incorrect.” As a result, JFK who well understood the source of this fiasco, set up a Cuban Study Group the day after and charged it with the responsibility of determining the cause for the failure of the operation. The study group, consisting of Allen Dulles, Gen. Maxwell Taylor, Adm. Arleigh Burke and Attorney General Robert Kennedy (the only member JFK could trust), concluded that the failure was due to Bundy’s telephone call to General Cabell (who was also CIA Deputy Director) that cancelled the President’s air strike order. Kennedy had them. Humiliatingly, CIA Director Allen Dulles was part of formulating the conclusion that the Bay of Pigs op was a failure because of the CIA’s intervention into the President’s orders. This allowed for Kennedy to issue the National Security Action Memorandum #55 on June 28th, 1961, which began the process of changing the responsibility from the CIA to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As Prouty states, “When fully implemented, as Kennedy had planned, after his reelection in 1964, it would have taken the CIA out of the covert operation business. This proved to be one of the first nails in John F. Kennedy’s coffin.” If this was not enough of a slap in the face to the CIA, Kennedy forced the resignation of CIA Director Allen Dulles, CIA Deputy Director for Plans Richard M. Bissell Jr. and CIA Deputy Director Charles Cabell. In Oct 1962, Kennedy was informed that Cuba had offensive Soviet missiles 90 miles from American shores. Soviet ships with more missiles were on their way towards Cuba but ended up turning around last minute. Rumours started to abound that JFK had cut a secret deal with Russian Premier Khrushchev, which was that the U.S. would not invade Cuba if the Soviets withdrew their missiles. Criticisms of JFK being soft on communism began to stir. NSAM #263, closely overseen by Kennedy, was released on Oct 11th, 1963, and outlined a policy decision “to withdraw 1,000 military personnel [from Vietnam] by the end of 1963” and further stated that “It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel [including the CIA and military] by 1965.” The Armed Forces newspaper Stars and Stripes had the headline U.S. TROOPS SEEN OUT OF VIET BY ’65. Kennedy was winning the game and the American people. This was to be the final nail in Kennedy’s coffin. Kennedy was brutally shot down only one month later, on Nov, 22nd 1963. His death should not just be seen as a tragic loss but, more importantly, it should be recognised for the successful military coup d’état that it was and is. The CIA showed what lengths it was ready to go to if a President stood in its way. (For more information on this coup refer to District Attorney of New Orleans at the time, Jim Garrison’s book. And the excellently researched Oliver Stone movie “JFK”) Through the Looking Glass On Nov. 26th 1963, a full four days after Kennedy’s murder, de facto President Johnson signed NSAM #273 to begin the change of Kennedy’s policy under #263. And on March 4th, 1964, Johnson signed NSAM #288 that marked the full escalation of the Vietnam War and involved 2,709,918 Americans directly serving in Vietnam, with 9,087,000 serving with the U.S. Armed Forces during this period. The Vietnam War, or more accurately the Indochina War, would continue for another 12 years after Kennedy’s death, lasting a total of 20 years for Americans. Scattered black ops wars continued, but the next large scale-never ending war that would involve the world would begin full force on Sept 11, 2001 under the laughable title War on Terror, which is basically another Iron Curtain, a continuation of a 76 year Cold War. A war that is not meant to end until the ultimate regime changes are accomplished and the world sees the toppling of Russia and China. Iraq was destined for invasion long before the vague Gulf War of 1990 and even before Saddam Hussein was being backed by the Americans in the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s. Iran already suffered a CIA backed regime change in 1953. It had been understood far in advance by the CIA and US military that the toppling of sovereignty in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran needed to occur before Russia and China could be taken over. Such war tactics were formulaic after 3 decades of counterinsurgency against the CIA fueled “communist-insurgency” of Indochina. This is how today’s terrorist-inspired insurgency functions, as a perfect CIA formula for an endless bloodbath. What is the relevance for today? That nothing has changed. Former CIA Director (2017-2018) Mike Pompeo recently participated in a discussion at the Texas A&M University, on April 15, 2019, where he voluntarily offered the admission that though West Points’ cadet motto is “You will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.”, his training under the CIA was the very opposite, stating “I was the CIA Director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It was like we had entire training courses. (long pause) It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment”. Cynthia Chung is the President of the Rising Tide Foundation and a writer at Strategic Culture Foundation, consider supporting her work by making a donation and subscribing to her substack page. This is article is a redacted form of the original that was published by Strategic Culture Foundation.
Thursday, May 13, 2021
Ob Regen, ob Sonnenschein Maiglöckchen läuten den Sommer ein. 12. Mai 2021 von Irene Eckert