Why Don't They Love Us Any More?
By Michael Shoen
November 21, 2003 9:05 AM
On November 19th, President George Walker Bush was forced to cancel his scheduled speech before the British parliament, not because of fear of terrorist, but for fear of questions from our best ally's Parliament. Anti-war demonstrators filled London streets protesting his visit. And the next night, while our President was presumable sleeping in Buckingham Palace, the British Embassy in Istanbul was blown up killing Roger Straw, the UK's Counseled General, and wounding hundreds. An intelligent (human) bomb is suspected. Two offices of a British bank were also hit the same night.
In England, some people blame the deaths on President Bush's visit to London.
Why Don't They Love Us Any More? By Michael Shoen
I've traveled to Germany every summer for the past 31 years. And German friends or relatives have visited me in America for every one of those years. I lay here at night, in America, listening to the Harleys (sans mufflers) rumble and bark down the boulevard. That doesn't happen in Germany. The Germans require mufflers, even on Harleys.
The Germans don't accept that level of noise aggression. It's boring in Germany. Coffee klatches, polite conversations with the baker, with the neighbor and with relatives: "Soft butter is easier to spread than hard butter;" and "The pickles with salt are better than the pickles with sugar." In America I grab my food and run. Why waste time talking?
But in America violence is off the chart: "Crime spoils great outdoors" is today's headline: road rage, folks packing pistols, intentionally-offensive boom boxes, violent films, music and games. And real blood: the largest prison population in the Western World. Lots of family abuse, celebrity violence and bizarre murders. And unlimited violence through the opiate of our choice, television.
German television reminds me of America's television in the 50's-- happy endings, with cornball programs like Lawrence Welk. German cities are awash with immigrants--Turks, Poles and Muslims. Summer traffic jams reach 40-miles in length. But no road rage. The train stations are jammed and hot, but people remain polite and seem happy.
Germany has no armaments industry to speak of, unlike my own country. The World knocks on America's door to purchase the tools of State murder. Germany exports no wars: no Granada, no Panama, Nicaragua, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, East Timor, Vietnam, Cambodia or Chile. No Bay of Pigs. No dead Kennedy's. No secret 35,000-man CIA Laotian army. No clandestine 50,000-man Contra army. No Columbian contract-paramilitary "drug" forces. And no profound domestic drug problem.
But the Germans do drink. Then, after their soccer games, they throw up in the train stations. Heck, in Bavaria, they serve 10- year-old kids Hafeweizen warm beer. That is good beer.
Germany is supposed to be a bad country, full of Nazis, the major oppressors of the world. I thought that ended about 60 years ago. Who has taken their place? Today, who has the "master race" mentality to justify oppression of weak and backward nations? Which country is the most militaristic, the largest overt forces and the most secretive and murderous covert forces? Not Germany.
I don't even know if Germany has a secret police. They must have one. I know the name of our secret police-- the CIA, FBI, DHS and other federal three-letters. We even have generic categories for our modern-day NKVDs..."covert ops," "special forces," and "rapid deployment forces." Who directs all this violence? In 1963, Allen Dulles, the former director of the CIA, described the Soviet KGB: "[A] multi-purpose, clandestine arm of power... more than an intelligence or counterintelligence organization. It is an instrument for subversion, manipulation and violence, for the secret intervention in the affairs of other countries." Whom does this describe today?
In Germany I live in a town of about 20,000 souls. There are two churches with a Sunday attendance total of maybe 200. In America we can get those numbers from a town of 800 souls. What is going on?
All the German small talk--about the difference between hard and soft butter--is just a cover. Small talk is just a mechanism to include everyone, yet offend no one, to connect at a lowest common denominator. It is an attempt to insure that no one is left behind. The Germans seem committed to leaving no one behind. Their socialized medicine is quite imperfect, but it is available to everyone, even to the unwashed Turks.
The Germans don't talk religion, but they seem to be awfully good to people, including the Turks, the Muslims and the many Eastern European refugees whom the United States has refused to help. The Germans don't parrot religious slogans like Americans ("Jesus is my personal Lord and Savior"), but they don't export death either.
The Germans have no overwhelming, mega-entertainment industry drenched in violence to foist on the rest of this suffering world. The Germans are flat boring. Here, in Amerika, we are not so boring. We have it all. We have the freedom to make a big stink about religion and, at the same time, the freedom to cheer our troops as they kill people who are not of the "master race," from afar, with the latest in high tech. We have the freedom to ignore our government's secret wars and our covert ops that arm terrorists, support anti-democratic regimes and kill literally millions of inferior peoples. We have the freedom to do whatever we want and, should our conscience ever be disturbed, we have the freedom to simply turn off the TV. In fact, the Media has made even this unnecessary by expunging the gruesome details themselves, on their own initiative. We want our entertainment to be exciting, but not so exciting as to be scary. The Germans are content with boring.
In Amerika, being religious means attending church and talking about it. In this sense, the Germans aren't religious. But they do seem to be following the instructions of Christ. Whereas we seem to be more interested in entertainment - - which includes religion. The Germans know that entertainment can get out of hand. They learned that, about 60 years ago. -end
Michael Shoen is a Phoenix attorney and hosts a weekly radio talk show. Address your comments to Shoen (email@example.com) AT OUR ONLINE BOOKSTORE (http://www.whtt.org/bookstor.htm ) or call in your order.
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