German militarist propaganda aimed at children


This video from the USA about nazi Germany says about itself:

PRE-MILITARY INSTRUCTION OF HITLER YOUTHNational Archives and Records Administration – ARC 43680, LI 242-MID-2106 – DVD Copied by Nick Stoller.

Series: Motion Picture Films From G-2 Army Military Intelligence Division, compiled 1918 – ca. 1947. PROMOTIONAL DOCUMENTARY: Animates the contents of the official war book, The Bridge With The Red Tower, as a method for Hitler Youth pre-military training. Shows the German army capturing towns and advancing against Allied forces, dive bombers, burning towns and marching troops. Emphasis is on the invaluable role of the library in pre-military training of German youth.

By Franzi Vier in Germany:

German army targets youth with war propaganda
29 June 2015

When were these images last seen in Germany? Children clamber on tanks, sit in military helicopters, hold anti-tank weapons in their hand and receive orders from soldiers in uniform about their functions. The army and military equipment are shown as a seemingly acceptable part of free time and family excursions.

These images come from Germany’s armed forces day, the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the Bundeswehr on June 13. “Believe it or not, it was 60 years waiting for this day,” states the Bundeswehr’s official homepage. But now it was finally here: “German armed forces day is being celebrated for the first time at 15 locations nationwide.”

The weapons displays, combat and tank manoeuvres, simulations of helicopter operations and personal discussions with soldiers, combined with entertainment activities aimed at children and families, were a spectacle orchestrated as a key part of the foreign policy shift announced by the German government early last year.

Already in 2012, in a speech at the German army’s leadership academy in Hamburg, President Joachim Gauck called for a stronger role in society for the army and more public debate involving the military. “Generals, officers, soldiers—back to the heart of our society!” he proclaimed to his audience.

German armed forces day is only the latest highpoint in an intensive and comprehensive strategy by the army to recruit young people to serve in the military. Gauck’s demand for the merging of civilian and military life recalls the darkest period of German history. Through the militarisation of society, the population is to be conditioned to accept war and violence as normal, and prepared for new wars.

The German army’s plans have confronted widespread opposition among the population. Due to the crimes of German imperialism in two world wars, anti-war sentiment is powerful. As has been the case in the past, the German army has failed to achieve its target of 15,000 to 20,000 new recruits annually.

The army has therefore been investing increasing sums of money to secure new trainees since 2011. While in 2009 only €3.8 million was spent on this, annual spending is now €29.9 million. This is increasing, with €35.3 million in spending planned for 2015.

A central role in the recruitment activities is being played by so-called youth officers and careers advisers, who seek to spread among young people the German army’s goal, pronounced by defence minister Ursula Von der Leyen, to become “one of the most attractive employers in Germany.” German armed forces day, which is to take place annually, is part of a comprehensive recruiting strategy at schools, job fairs and on the Internet.

Youth officers and career advisers, who are specially trained to work among young people, appear at training courses and in front of school classes across the country. They also organise troop visits. According to the children’s support organisation Terre des hommes, between 300,000 and 400,000 pupils are reached annually through this work. In this way, the army influences teaching content at schools. This is taking place “currently throughout the entire federal republic,” stated education journalist Armin Himmelrath in a radio interview with SWR in April.

Appearances by youth officers and career advisers are part of the compulsory curriculum. Pupils are only permitted to leave the military speeches if parents have previously submitted a written request for alternative lessons. However, soldiers often show up unannounced, making this option impossible.

Officers appear at schools as alleged objective experts in foreign and security policy, mainly speaking on foreign interventions and the threat of international terrorism. They not only seek to convince the youth of the correctness of military interventions around the globe, but also of the lack of any alternative.

Along with its immediate presence in classes, the German army is also developing its own propaganda material for lessons. An example of this is the education magazine Frieden und Sicherheit (Peace and Security). The latest edition has the character of a summary of the foreign policy shift of the past year.

The editorial accuses Russia of threatening “the sovereignty of Ukraine” and striving “to revive a ‘new Russia’.” The European Union (EU) and NATO therefore faced “new challenges in their relations with Russia.” Further challenges are identified such as the Syrian civil war against dictator Bashar Al-Assad, the Islamic State, and unstable states in general, which are confronted “with the radicalisation of people, civil wars, and migration movements.”

The entire magazine attempts to create the impression that Germany has no other option but to respond to the challenges of the 21st century with a major rearmament programme and militarisation abroad and at home. Under the headline “Army in transformation,” Gauck’s notorious speech before the German army is cited. The section “Bundeswehr and society” defines the army’s tasks as, among other things, global interventions and “a contribution to domestic protection … in internal emergency situations.”

The didactic and methodical suggestions contained in the guide for teachers accompanying the magazine confirm what is involved. Under “competencies and learning outcomes” it states: “identify possible actions with reference to peace and security for oneself and in connection with state, civil society and international organisations, as well as to reflect on and develop strategic concepts backed up by arguments for this.”

In other words, pupils are to be made strategists for German imperialism and, in the best cases, consider the “possibilities for action” for the Bundeswehr. To achieve this goal, the German army is constantly expanding its campaigns and collaborating with radio stations, television broadcasters and newspapers. The military even sponsors school buses so that it can print advertising on their timetables.

On its YouTube channel, with the programmatic slogan “We. Serve. Germany,” the German army publishes advertising for out-of-school sporting activities along with militarist war videos. Since 2012, it has been advertising on the youth magazine Bravo ’s web site for its army adventure camps with colourful images and flowery text. The activities are directed at “girls and boys aged 16 and 17 with German citizenship.” The German army covers all costs.

In order to integrate itself into the daily lives of young people, the army has uploaded posters for young people’s bedrooms, desktop backgrounds with weapons and tanks, or school timetable planners with Eurofighter logos on its youth web site ready for download.

The increased attempts to subordinate schools to the interests of German militarism and win new recruits for the army have met with mounting opposition from pupils, parents and teachers.

On the Internet and in local communities, a number of initiatives have emerged protesting the militarisation of schools. In one prominent example, the Robert Blum gymnasium in Berlin took the decision at a school meeting in 2011 to ban any activities by the military.

On the other hand, there are schools where critical students have already been punished for protesting against the appearance of the military at their school and posing difficult questions. In February, a pupil at a school in Bamberg received a sharply worded warning for posing a question on the Kundus massacre in a career planning seminar in which the Bundeswehr participated as an employer, and later demonstrated with friends against the army’s presence during a break.

The warning was issued based explicitly on political grounds and contained the following threat: “To graduate successfully, he (the pupil) must be careful in the future to avoid making statements expressing his extremist political opinions.”

Regardless of the fact that the school administration withdrew the warning after public protest, the incident is particularly disturbing. Seventy years after the end of World War II and 60 years after the founding of the German army, a pupil speaking out against the return of German militarism has been branded an extremist and threatened with reprisals.

‘The British Armed Forces need to stop targeting and recruiting children': here.

British Royal Navy killed whales, report published at last


This video says about itself:

Long-finned Pilot Whale Species Identification

From New Scientist:

Pilot whales cuddle in the abyss

26 June 2013

THE abyss is a scary place. So perhaps it is no surprise that long-finned pilot whales like to stick close together when they plunge into the murky depths. New observations show that they often stay within metres of each other as they dive, and even stroke each other with their flippers.

Long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas) are social animals that live in large pods. They were known to keep together at the surface, but their behaviour underwater was largely unknown.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Royal Navy bomb explosions caused mass whale deaths, report concludes

Noise from underwater bombs caused 19 pilot whales to beach and die off the coast of Scotland in 2011, say government scientists

Rob Edwards

Wednesday 24 June 2015 14.09 BST

Four large bombs exploded underwater by the Royal Navy were to blame for a mass stranding which killed 19 pilot whales on the north coast of Scotland in 2011, government scientists have concluded.

A long-delayed report released on Wednesday by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs says that the noise from the explosions could have damaged the hearing and navigational abilities of the whales, causing them to beach and die.

On 22 July 2011, 70 long-finned pilot whales swam into the Kyle of Durness, a shallow tidal inlet east of Cape Wrath, Europe’s largest live bombing range. Despite attempts to herd them back out to sea, 39 were left stranded by the tide.

Concerted efforts by expert teams and local people managed to refloat 20, but 19 ended up dead. It was one of the largest mass strandings in recent years, and it prompted a government-funded investigation by 12 scientists from laboratories across the UK.

Their report reveals that three 1,000-pound bombs were detonated in the sea nearby by the Royal Navy’s Northern Diving Group in the 24 hours before the whales were stranded. A fourth 250-pound bomb was exploded after stranding began.

The bombs were left over from military exercises in which planes target Garvie Island, a small rocky outcrop 4.5km from the Kyle of Durness. Some bombs miss the island, fail to detonate and sink to the seabed, where they have to be located and disposed of for safety reasons.

“The magnitude, frequency and proximity of the multiple detonations in the day prior to the stranding, and the single high-order detonation shortly after the beginning of the mass stranding, were plausible sources of significant disturbance to any neighbouring marine mammals,” the report says.

The three initial explosions could have had a “significant detrimental effect on the hearing and therefore navigational competence of any cetaceans in proximity,” it adds. The fourth bomb “might have served to drive the animals further inland”.

Loud noises can damage the hair cells in the ears of whales vital for detecting pressure changes, leaving them “functionally deaf”, the report points out. “Long-finned pilot whales are known to follow other members of the pod and appear to spook relatively easily.”

It criticises the Royal Navy’s visual checks for whales before bombs are exploded as “insufficient”, and recommends improved monitoring. It also highlights the routine use of devices elsewhere in the world that burn out rather than detonate bombs.

“Given the potential damage to marine life from the high-order explosions of conventional disposal techniques, it is questionable why this method has not been used routinely in the past,” the report says.

The lead author of the report, Andrew Brownlow from Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) in Inverness, was pleased that it had “finally” been published. It was hard to be definitive about the causes of mass strandings, he said.

“However we have suggested mitigation strategies which will hopefully reduce the plausible risk from these types of high-energy detonations on marine life. It is hoped they will be taken on board.”

According to Sarah Dolman, Northeast Atlantic programme manager for Whale and Dolphin Conservation, it was “no coincidence” that the whales were stranded hours after the bombs were exploded.

She said: “Why has it taken four years to publish the report and what measures have the Ministry of Defence (MoD) put in place to evaluate and minimise the impacts of detonations around Garvie Island, to ensure that it adequately protects whales and dolphins since then?”

The MoD said that it accepted the findings of the report. “It identified a number of possible factors that may have influenced events, one of which was the detonation of underwater explosives,” said a spokesman.

“The recommendations will be considered by the MoD and implemented where appropriate. Additional mitigation has already been put in place during munitions disposal activities conducted since 2011.”

Confederate flag scandal in Glastonbury, England


This video from the USA says about itself:

Whoopi Goldberg on The View Compares Confederate Flag to Nazi Swastika – ABC – June 22, 2015

In the events following the Charleston shooting, the discussion on racism has merged with a discussion of whether it is appropriate for the South Carolina Statehouse to continue flying the Confederate flag. Jeb Bush gave his opinion on the issue when he said that despite being a symbol of Southern heritage, the flag’s context is outdated and belongs only in Florida museums. While other GOP politicians have touched on the issue with varying conviction, Mike Huckabee called it a state matter that was not an issue for 2016 candidates, while Rick Santorum refused to take a side on the debate.

On Monday’s episode of The View, the side-stepping of the discussion did not sit well with the panelists. Whoopi Goldberg condemned the flying of the flag, saying that with how long the flag has been glorified in the South amid decades of controversy, the only way to argue against the flag’s defenders is to compare it to the flag of Nazi Germany.

“It would be like having the swastika flag flying on your next-door neighbor,” said Goldberg. “That is a part of history in Germany that they are struggling desperately to get away from.”

“If it continues to fly, the statement that’s being made … is that ‘We miss this really crappy part of history,’ and that is where the conversation has to begin.”

Goldberg also said that even though she acknowledged the flag’s historical relevance and status as a symbol of pride, placing the flag in a museum was the only way to take the “stink” out of the flag’s reputation. “None of us want the connotations that that flag gave to people. I think that America’s biggest human beings [should] at least have the conversation, and call racism racism when they see it.”

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Confederate flag flying at Glastonbury

Friday 26th June 2015

THE CONFEDERATE flag has been snapped flying over the fence at Glastonbury Festival — just days after major retailers and institutions in the US banned selling and displaying it.

This comes a week after white supremacist terrorist Dylann Roof, 21, had opened fire in Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine people.

Mr Roof, who is in custody, is seen in photographs posing with the Confederate flag, which is a divisive symbol due to its links with the American civil war.

He was reported to have told friends that by shooting black people he had wanted to start another similar conflict.

Commentators on social media have stated that taking the Confederate flag to a major music event is insensitive, while others said it may have been done in “irony.”

British Conservatives help ISIS


This 12 May 2015 video from Britain says about itself:

Russell Brand, Abby Martin: David Cameron: Islamophobia to Control You, Part 1.

This video is the sequel.

Since 2002, Right-wing White Terrorists have Killed More Americans Than Muslim Extremists: here.

By Seumas Milne in daily The Guardian in Britain:

By scapegoating Muslims, Cameron fuels radicalisation

Ministers foster terror with their wars. Now they attack liberties at home in the name of British values

Wednesday 24 June 2015 20.54 BST

The anti-Muslim drumbeat has become deafening across the western world. As images of atrocities by the jihadi terror group Isis multiply online, and a steady trickle of young Europeans and North Americans head to Syria and Iraq to join them, Muslim communities are under siege. Last week David Cameron accused British Muslims of “quietly condoning” the ideology that drives Isis sectarian brutality, normalising hatred of “British values”, and blaming the authorities for the “radicalisation” of those who go to fight for it.

It was too much for Sayeeda Warsi, the former Conservative party chair, who condemned the prime minister’s “misguided emphasis” on “Muslim community complicity”. He risked “further alienating” the large majority of Muslims fighting the influence of such groups, she warned. Even Charles Farr, the hawkish counter-terrorism mandarin at the Home Office, balked. Perhaps fewer than 100 Britons were currently fighting with Isis, he said, and “we risk labelling Muslim communities as somehow intrinsically extremist”.

But Cameron and his neoconservative allies are preparing the ground for the government’s next onslaught. The target will not be terrorism, but “non-violent extremism”. Next month, from nursery schools to optometrists, health services to universities, all will be legally obliged to monitor students and patients for any sign of “extremism” or “radicalisation”.

The new powers represent a level of embedded security surveillance in public life unprecedented in peacetime. We already know from the government’s Prevent programme the chilling impact of such mass spying on schools, where Muslim pupils have been reported for speaking out in favour of Palestinian rights or against the role of British troops in Afghanistan.

But the “counter-extremism” bill announced in the Queen’s Speech is about to take the anti-Muslim clampdown a whole stage further. The plans include banning orders for non-violent individuals and organisations whose politics are considered unacceptable; physical restriction orders for non-violent individuals deemed “harmful”; powers to close mosques; and vetting controls on broadcasters accused of airing extremist material. It’s censorship under any other name.

That was the view of Sajid Javid, then culture secretary, in a leaked letter to the prime minister earlier this year. But Cameron shows every sign of pressing ahead with what amounts to a full-blown assault on basic liberties. Most ludicrously, the new powers are defended in the name of “British values”, including “individual liberty” and “mutual respect and tolerance”.

But as became clear in the aftermath of the murderous Paris attack on Charlie Hebdo earlier this year, we are not all Charlie when it comes to freedom of speech. Anti-extremism powers will be used overwhelmingly against Muslims, rather than, say, non-Muslim homophobes and racists who have little interest in mutual respect and tolerance.

And they will fail, as their earlier incarnations have done, to discourage the small minority drawn to terrorism at home or jihadi campaigns abroad. Government ministers claim such violence is driven by “ideology” rather than injustice, grievance or its own policies. But, given that they refuse to speak to any significant Muslim organisation they don’t agree with or fund, perhaps it’s not surprising to find them in thrall to an ideology, neoconservatism, of their own.

Any other explanation for the terror threat would in any case implicate the government and its predecessors. In reality, it shouldn’t be so hard to understand why a small section of young alienated Muslims are attracted to fight in Syria and Iraq with Isis and other such groups. Jihadi “ideology” has been around for a long time. But there were no terror attacks in Britain before US and British forces invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, and those behind every violent attack or terror plot have cited western intervention in the Muslim world as their motivation.

Isis has a different appeal to al-Qaida. It has taken huge stretches of territory using naked terror, destroyed borders and set up a self-proclaimed caliphate. In the Middle East it presents itself as the defender of Sunnis in a convulsive sectarian war. For a few young marginalised western Muslims, such groups can offer the illusion of a fight against tyranny and a powerful sense of identity.

But add in relentless media hostility, rampant Islamophobia, state surveillance and harassment of Muslim communities, and such alienation can only spread. In the past year, we’ve had the “Trojan Horse” Birmingham schools plot that never was, the ousting of an elected Muslim mayor of Tower Hamlets by a judge – including on grounds that he had exercised “undue spiritual influence” on Muslims – and evidence of an increasing level of anti-Muslim attacks. Islamophobia now far outstrips hostility to any other religion or ethnic group.

Ministers and their media allies downplay the role of “foreign policy” in Muslim radicalisation, against all the evidence. By foreign policy, they mean multiple western invasions and occupations of Muslim states, torture and state kidnapping on a global scale, and support for dictatorships across the Arab and Muslim world. That includes Saudi Arabia, of course, which shares much of Isis’s “ideology” and practices; and Egypt, whose ex-military leader, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, overthrew the elected president in 2013 and is soon to be welcomed to Downing Street.

Isis is itself the direct product of the US and British occupation and destruction of Iraq, and both countries back armed rebel groups fighting in Syria – as they did in Libya. So no wonder would-be jihadis get confused about who is on whose side. Western Isis volunteers are a disaster for Syria and Iraq, but so far they haven’t carried out return attacks at home.

That could of course change, not least as the government criminalises dissent, brands conservative religiosity “extremist” and, in the formulation of ministers, “quietly condones” Islamophobia. The British government has long fed terrorism with its warmaking abroad. Now it’s also fuelling it with its scapegoating of Muslims at home.