German professor praises drones, poison gas


This 1 April 2015 video from the USA is called Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars • FULL DOCUMENTARY FILM • BRAVE NEW FILMS.

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

German professor Herfried Münkler: Combat drones and poison gas are “humane” weapons

16 April 2015

About two weeks after the German and French governments decided at a joint cabinet meeting to manufacture combat drones in Europe, Humboldt University Professor Herfried Münkler praised such drones as “humane” weapons in a long interview in the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung (FAZ). He drew a historical parallel to poison gas, which was used for the first time in the First World War, describing it also as “humane.”

When the FAZ noted that poison gas is perceived “as especially terrible,” Münkler replied, “There is this striking paradox. Between three or four percent die in poison gas attacks, while the death toll from artillery wounds is around fifty percent, and the rate of mortality from rifle or machine gun fire thirty percent. That means that you could actually say that gas is a rather ‘humane’ weapon, because it has a relatively low death toll.”

Münkler added that in drone attacks the operators “have much more time for observation than the pilot of a fighter bomber,” and “the collateral damage of drone attacks” is “clearly lower than that from fighter bombers.”

It is difficult to say which is more repulsive: Münkler’s trivialization of poison gas attacks in the First World War, or his plea for combat drones today.

This video says about itself:

Deadly Battles of World War I – Ypres the Gas Inferno

7 November 2014

Poison gas killed 80,000 soldiers in World War I. Nearly a million more were victims who suffered its lingering effects. Initially the wind distributed chlorine gas across the battlefields of the western front but an arms race quickly developed until one in three shells contained some form of toxic gas.

It’s not the statistics, however, that make this a successful documentary. A surprising amount of black-and-white footage and interviews with survivors and relatives of key players tell a compelling tale of motivations and consequences. For those who adhere to the maxim that history repeats itself, it’s worth noting that despite an international convention banning chemical weapons, both sides of the Great War deployed poison gases with few reservations. As one interviewee puts it, patriotism defeated morality.

The Johannes Stern article continues:

The hundredth anniversary of the first use of poison gas as a weapon of mass extermination is just under a week away. On April 22, 1915, German troops used chlorine gas in the battle at Ypres.

The Deutsche Welle published an article a year ago that described how a yellowish cloud of 180 tons of chlorine gas wafted out of the German trenches to the enemy lines: “There began the horror. The enveloped soldiers stumbled around, turning red, blind and coughing. Three thousand of them suffocated and an additional seven thousand soldiers, who were badly burned, survived.”

In an escalating gas war, in which more and more effective chemical weapons were put into use, “about 120 thousand tons of 38 types of warfare agents were deployed, about 100 thousand soldiers [died] and 1.2 million men were wounded,” according to a paper published by the Federal Agency of Civic Education.

Science historian Ernst Peter Fischer commented on the first poison gas attack in Ypres in the Deutsche Welle account. “At that moment, science lost its innocence,” he said. Until then, the goal of science consisted of easing the conditions of life of human beings. “Now science provided the conditions for killing human life,” Fischer said.

Fischer cited the example of the Berlin chemist Fritz Haber, who founded and headed the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry and Electro-chemistry. Haber placed his entire scientific ability in the service of mass extermination. This proved no hindrance to his career. After the end of the war, the “father of gas warfare” won the Nobel Prize for chemistry and sat on the supervisory board of the chemistry giant I.G. Farben, which later produced the poison gas Zyklon B for the gas chambers in Auschwitz. Haber, who was himself Jewish, emigrated in 1933 and died shortly thereafter.

The use of poison gas, which Münkler praises as a “humane weapon,” was not just a new method for slaughtering millions of soldiers. Its use was then and remains today a war crime. It contravenes the Hague Convention of 1907 and was once again explicitly forbidden in the Geneva Protocol of 1925. In the war in Iraq and as part of the war threats against Syria, imperialist propaganda used the actual or alleged use of poison gas in these countries as sufficient grounds for war.

For this reason, Münkler’s parallel between poison gas and drone warfare is particularly significant. The comparison is apt, not because they are both “humane” methods of war, but because both exemplify the development of new stages in imperialist brutality.

The US-led drone wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen not only violate international law, but have taken the lives of thousands of innocent victims (Münkle’s “collateral damage”) in recent years. According to research carried out by the London based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the US military has wiped out between 2.4 and 3.9 thousand people in “targeted killings” in Pakistan alone. These victims of combat drones are not infrequently women, children or innocent participants at birthday parties, weddings or funerals.

Münkler’s justification for warfare with poison gas and combat drones is utterly cynical. He accuses the opponents of gas and drone warfare of clinging to the ideal of a long bygone “heroic” age.

“The criticism of gas warfare and the criticism of drone warfare are connected in that they both have to do with the ethos of the fighter. The astounding thing is that drones are criticized in a post-heroic society, but with the arguments of the heroic society, which demands the struggle of man against man,” explained the professor.

By “post-heroic,” Münkler means that war is no longer fought man to man, but rather that soldiers and civilians of less developed states are slaughtered in cold blood by their adversaries—at the mercy of remote-controlled drones or poison gas, which soldiers cannot defend themselves against.

“We are observing the transformation of war into policing,” he said in the FAZ. “Goals are being pursued in a way that can be understood as making investments in the future of the area of intervention by minimizing losses. Hegel called the weapon ‘the essence of the fighter’—drones are the typical weapon of post-heroic society. There is no ethos or aesthetic of war. There is only effectiveness of battlefield management.”

It requires the intellectual degradation of a German professor to try to use Hegel for the purpose of celebrating combat drones as an “effective” category of weapon above any ethical or moral criticism.

Münkler’s argument is an insult to the intelligence of the vast majority of the population which opposes combat drones, but not because of any longing for a “heroic” age or a preference for fighting wars with the sword “man against man.” Rather, drones are hated because no other weapon is more closely associated with imperialist aggression, war crimes and the suffering of civilian populations.

Münkler also introduces social Darwinist arguments to justify drone warfare. The “post-heroic society” is characterized “by two elements,” he said in the FAZ interview: “A low rate of reproduction in the population. There is no longer a surplus of young men for the battlefield. And the idea of self sacrifice at the ‘altar of the fatherland’ is completely foreign to us.”

Two years ago Münkler had already presented an argument against ethical and moral objections to modern weapons of destruction. At the fourteenth annual foreign policy conference of the Green Party affiliated Heinrich Böll Stiftung, he gave a lecture titled: “New fighting systems and the ethics of war.”

At that time Münkler warned: “Post-heroic societies such as ours should be very careful when they talk about the ethics of war. They are playing with fire, especially when they use ethics to demand more from soldiers than they would demand of themselves.”

He then told the politicians and foreign policy experts in attendance: “The ‘citizen in uniform’ is much closer to war drones than the soldier of a classical army, and he prefers their use to the deployment of light infantry in hostile terrain, with the goal of eliminating an actual or supposed threat in direct contact with the enemy. To express it pointedly: in the criticism of drones, the ethics of a pre-bourgeois society is giving voice to heroic ideas in a nostalgic form. This is a critique that has not been thought out to the end.”

Irrespective of how “thought out to the end” is his own overblown pontification, the stance of the professor is very clear—his standpoint is highly militaristic. In a situation in which neither the population nor the majority of soldiers favors being slaughtered in open warfare on the battlefield, he recommends drones to the ruling elite as a suitable means of achieving the ends of German imperialism through military means.

The fact that Münkler now places poison gas in the same category as drones shows that inhumane and militaristic attitudes are once again running rampant in ruling circles in Berlin 70 years after the end of the Second World War. The report of the Böll Stiftung on the conference two years ago concluded that Münkler’s presentation of “controversial combat drones as a positive new stage in weapons technology from an ethical point of view” was seen as a “minor provocation.”

Since then, Münkler’s “minor provocation” has become a dangerous reality. The Böll Stiftung campaigns for a confrontation with Russia, the German government is acquiring combat drones and Münkler himself is giving a seminar at Humboldt University under the title “Theories of war: new wars, humanitarian interventions, drone wars.” In his new book, Macht in der Mitte (Power in the Middle), Münkler demands that Germany once again “play the difficult role of ‘taskmaster’” in Europe. The German government is working on this too!

Dutch Wilders helps German Pegida of Hitler copycat Bachmann


The image of Lutz Bachmann styled as Adolf Hitler was published by the Dresden Morgenpost after a reader spotted it on Facebook

This image of Lutz Bachmann, fuehrer of the racist Pegida organisation in Germany, who had styled himself as Adolf Hitler, was published by the Dresden Morgenpost.

By Christoph Dreier in Germany:

Right-wing extremist Geert Wilders delivers diatribe in Dresden, Germany

15 April 2015

On Monday evening, the Dutch right-wing extremist Geert Wilders spoke at a Pegida demonstration in Dresden. Although only a few thousand people came from throughout Germany to the event, the major media outlets endeavoured to utilise Wilders’ appearance to resurrect the Islamophobic movement.

The self-proclaimed “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West” (Pegida) have conducted a weekly demonstration in Dresden since last October, and have received intense media attention. Numerous politicians have spoken in favour of a dialogue with the Islamophobes. On the basis of this press attention, up to 20,000 people came to the right-wing extremist gatherings at times.

However, the number of protesters then dropped just as quickly. In recent weeks, even the police said only a few thousand participants attended, travelling from all over Germany. The Pegida organizers attempted to counter this trend by inviting Wilders, and the event received comprehensive media coverage prior to it.

Wilders is one of the most foul agitators and right-wing extremists in Europe. He makes Islam and the Koran responsible for extremist terrorism, and calls for a ban on Muslim texts and customs. He wants to reduce immigration and reintroduce border controls within the European Union.

In his speech, he called on the Pegida protesters to take pride in Germany and to oppose “Islamic barbarism”. Islam called for the killing of Jews and Christians and for this reason must not become part of Germany, said Wilders, who warned against the “Islamisation of our society”.

The invitation of Wilders is part of an attempt to network Pegida across Europe and to perpetuate an Islamophobia and extreme right-wing movement in Germany. Besides Wilders, the ex-journalist Udo Ulfkotte and the former Berlin Christian Democratic state deputy and founder of the right-wing Party of Freedom, René Stadtkewitz, were invited as speakers. In March, the Swiss right-wing extremist Ignaz Bearth spoke at a Pegida meeting, and the new right thinker Götz Kubitschek was given a platform.

At the same time, Pegida announced it would stand its own candidate for Dresden mayor on June 7. The right-wing extremists want to enter Tatjana Festerling into the race, who like no other embodies the backwardness and vulgarity of the movement.

Festerling was a founding member of the Hamburg state association of the Alternative for Germany (AfD). She was the deputy marketing manager of the state association and, by her own account, also designed campaigns of the federal party. In Hamburg, she ran as a district candidate of the party.

After she glorified the hooligan demonstration against the Salafists in Cologne on the JournalistWatch web site, which involved violent rioting, the AfD threatened to expel her. The defence of right-wing extremists went too far even for the AfD leadership.

Festerling avoided expulsion by quitting the party in late January. She was a speaker at the Pegida demonstrations in Dresden and has advanced to become the new front person of the movement. In her speeches, she makes no secret of her far-right views.

There were “floods of asylum seekers, which they, the destroyers of the Germany of [Chancellor Angela] Merkel and Gabriel and Tillich, are swamping our Dresden, Saxony and our Germany.” And many asylum seekers, she says, were “men, who abandoned their families and homes because the state provided nicer accommodation and regular incomes here.”

In the many speeches she has made, not only in Dresden but also at the mini-demonstrations of Pegida offshoots in other cities, she rails against “the continually offended, continually demanding impudent minorities from Islamic countries who get on our nerves with their Koran and special rights.”

The 50-year-old explicitly supported the views of Geert Wilders, that Islam is identical with Islamic extremism. “I do not distinguish between Islamism and Islam,” she said in an interview.

Her xenophobic tirades are paired with long-winded and vulgar attacks on homosexuals and sexual minorities, which in her view terrorise the majority. She compares sex education at school with paedophilia. If Dresden will not defend itself against such developments, she proposes building a new version of the Berlin Wall.

That such a dull and vulgar personality can be elevated as a political figure speaks volumes, not just about Pegida, but also about the media and politicians who have supported her movement since October.

In January, the Saxony state premier Stanislaw Tillich declared that he did not want to ban the Pegida demonstrations. At the same time, he said that Islam was not a part of Germany and that Muslim associations in Germany should distance themselves from terrorism more clearly. “People are afraid of Islam because acts of terrorism are perpetrated in the name of Islam,” he told Welt am Sonntag.

On January 23, the publically funded National Centre for Civic Education invited Saxony Pegida representatives to an official exchange, which was also attended by the chairman of the Social Democratic Party and German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

But all these efforts could not consolidate the Pegida movement. Significantly more counterdemonstrators regularly demonstrate on the streets than right-wing extremists, and the number of Islamophobia participants has declined. A split occurred in the Pegida alliance in February, and the clique around Pegida founder Lutz Bachmann aligned themselves more closely with European right-wing extremists.

Only when the movement shrank again did some politicians, who had previously regarded Pegida affirmatively, distance themselves. Wilders’ appearance was accompanied by a renewed media campaign popularising the movement, showing that the far-right group continues to receive support and is regarded as useful by sections of the ruling elite.

The social attacks in Europe and the militarisation of German foreign policy are rejected by the vast majority of the population. Pegida mobilises the dregs of society, attempting to intimidate this opposition and create a social basis for its suppression.

German nazis threaten to behead pro-refugee center politician


This 2013 video is about a demonstration against the nazi NPD party in Münster, Germany.

After the royal government of Saudi Arabia, the only country in the world which officially practices the death penalty by beheading … after the ISIS terrorists, modeling themselves in this, like in many other things, on the Saudi royal government … after the Aidar mercenary bataillon of the Kiev goverment in Ukraine … now, beheading threatens in Germany.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

German neo-Nazis ‘threaten to behead MP after arson attack at refugee centre’ in Tröglitz

German neo-Nazis were suspected of being behind threats to “behead” a conservative politician for continuing to back a controversial refugee housing project today, less than 48 hours after a village building earmarked for the scheme was set ablaze by unknown assailants.

Christian Democrat politician Götz Ulrich, from the east German state of Saxony Anhalt, said that suspected neo-Nazis had threatened to behead him for supporting plans for a 40-bed refugee hostel in Tröglitz, a village in his constituency which is notorious for neo-Nazi activity.

“The threats are of an unpleasant nature,” he told  Germany’s N-TV news channel yesterday. “They are going so far as to threaten methods used during the French revolution.” Police said they were taking the threats seriously and were giving Mr Ulrich 24-hour protection.

The development was the latest case of overt neo-Nazi intimidation to blight Tröglitz, a village of 2,700 inhabitants and the focus of far right opposition to the liberal asylum policies of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition.

These policies are not really that liberal. However, to nazis, everything short of gas chambers is ‘liberal’.

Far-right protests against the planned asylum hostel were thought to have peaked last month, after the village mayor, Markus Nierth, stepped down in the wake of threats by the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) to stage protest rallies in front of the 46-year-old mayor’s home.

On Saturday, however, shocked Tröglitz residents awoke to find the roof of  the new – and as yet empty – refugee hostel had been destroyed by fire. Officials said one or more people broke in and started the blaze at 2am. “Everything in this case points to deliberate arson,” said Germany’s Interior Minister, Thomas de Maizière.

The NPD remains legal in Germany despite government attempts to ban the organisation and has seats in two state parliaments in east Germany. It stands accused of deliberately bussing in its adherents to Tröglitz to foment unrest.

Mr Nierth, who resigned to draw attention to the fact that he had not been given sufficient police protection and felt his family was threatened, insisted: “We can’t let the Nazis win in our town.” He  said he was shattered by the apparent arson attack: “I am stunned, sad and furious at the same time, Tröglitz will never recover from this.”

After his resignation, the hostel was overseen by Mr Ulrich, MP in the Saxony Anhalt state government, who received threats to behead him after insisting, despite the fire, the project would go ahead.

On March 28, 20-year-old Melissa M. died in a Heidelberg clinic of a pulmonary embolism, according to official reports. Three weeks earlier, she had testified as a witness before the NSU investigative committee of the Baden-Württemberg state assembly in Stuttgart. Her testimony was given behind closed doors because the witness felt threatened. Melissa M. is the third witness to die under mysterious circumstances in the investigation into the terrorist murders of the “National Socialist Underground” (NSU): here.

Neo-Nazi’s plot to win over small villages in Germany through settlers: here.