Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air.
We’ve already become accustomed to press reports of happenings and hearing the statements of our politicians as something seen through a camera obscura – passing them through a very small hole at first, and then looking at them upside down (which in this case nearly generates a kind of truth). But during the last few days the gyrations performed with definitions and invocations have turned so wild, moved around so incessently that it takes one’s breath away and any clear image dissappears in the whirl.
First the coalition of defenders of western values invoked these values on a street in Paris. In short succession after that came the jubulation by the hired butchers of words over the choice of the “Unword of the Year“, making the whole bunch feel ennobled while the same motive used for the uplifting of the presstitutes became a completely irrelevant footnote when dealing with the brown shirted view of history presented by the Ukrainian ally. And even human compassion, although it appeared briefly on the frontpages after the Paris assault, was hurriedly sent back into hibernation, considering the continuous artillery barrage of Novorossija. It makes one long for a slow motion button, or at least a vow not to take in more than one of these twistings at a time, just to keep one’s sanity.
What a jubilation arose after the word „Lügenpresse“ (press of lies) was elected to be the „Unword of the Year”. It had been, so the the jury´s statement, „a keyword for ideological attack already during WWI and was also used by the Nazis to generally defame independent media.“ And suddenly they all felt independent, the scribbling serfs of Springer and Bertelsmann. It came about so easily. The jury described „a general defamation on the part of the independent media, because the overwhelming majority of their representatives try to counter the intentionally incited fear of an alleged „islamisation of the Occident“ with neutral presentation of social issues and a differenciated sight.“ Deutsche Welle, all those months prematurely yearning for a status of war correspondent, built the bridge between the French community’s western values to the choice of the „UNword“ straight away. You can only observe with stunned amazement how the inhabitants of the media trenches define themselves as „critical media“ and, after launching a continuous barrage of sheer twisted reality, still have the daring to decorate themselves with sentences like this one:
“Because, what is the consequence of a term like „press of lies“? It means that there is only one writing the truth and that is the only truth. But the pluralism of democracy opposes this single truth.“
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Sure…..the sort of pluralism that entertained us througout the last year unisono with Putin the scoundrel and the noble defenders of western values like the Asov militia. Tagesspiegel, also not to be found in the lines of the innocent lambs, even went out far unto the thin ice and voiced:
“Those who were once called “press of lies“ were, looking back through history, unambiguously on the side of truth, on the side of democratic self-conception in the fight against hurray-patriotism and racism.“
Yes, you would like to shout in their faces, and it would be better, if you were standing there today as well, but – you don´t! You are so eager to create a new edition of the madness of war that Karl Kraus should be visiting you in your nightmares every single night, but his spirit probably already gave up on the effort…. No, that wasn´t sufficient, there is one more to come:
“Who interprets the historical facts differently today is quite surely an incurable Nazi.“
That´s really cheeky. Because on the exact same day, when this and other organs of the press beat their breasts and glorified themselves as heroic antifaschists, another event that would be euphemised by calling it „interpreting the historical facts differently“ was treated as absolute irrelevancy by exactly the same organs of the media. That´s how SZ (who didn´t save upon self-praise regarding the Unwort either) wrote about it:
“The talks were burdened by the statements of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseni Yatsenyuk during his visit to Germany last week. He had drawn a parallel between the bloody civil war in Eastern Ukraine and WW II. He literally said: „We all remember the Soviet invasion into Ukraine and Germany.“ This caused indignation in Russia. Moscow sent a note of protest to the Foreign Ministry.“
Yeah, the Russians again. There are two implications here – one, that there were no protests in Germany against this statement (which isn´t true, once again), second, that this indignation is basically irrelevant, because whatever Russians say (and for months every effort was taken to establish this view) is just propaganda and therefore simply not the truth. Opposite to what our free, democratic, independent press publishes every day.
You should perceive, on one and the same day one and the same organs of press felt absolved of the accusation of lying, because they got confirmed that the expression „press of lies“ was a keyword of Nazi propaganda (and therefore anybody who uses it a Nazi himself). But it doesn´t see anything wrong , when a bloodsmeared puppet, kept in power partially by German taxpayer money, like Yatsenyuk declares Hitler fascists to be victims of a Soviet invasion.
The German government didn´t react any better; they considered the Russian note of protest unworthy of a response, but delivered the statement through the Press Secretary of the Foreign Ministry that they continued to regard it as an invasion of Nazi Germany into Russia, but that ArseniYatsenyuk had the right to express his opinion like anybody else. Which passingly turned the history of WWII into a matter of opinion, and therefore the opinion that the Nazis were the good guys must be defended, isn´t it, because freedom of expression is a European value, and probably it is in the interest of freedom of expression when Yatsenzuk orders the eastern part of his country to be shelled into ruins… (The fact that Poland didn´t invite the political represantative of the liberators for the celebrations of the jubilee of the liberation of Auschwitz probably carries the label „freedom of expression“ too).
But back to the statement about the „Unword“. This year the jury exercised the mentality of lackeys — not only because they were afraid to pick up the word „Putinversteher“ (someone who understands Putin), turning it into “Russlandversteher”(someone who understands Russia); no, they joined the ranks of the propagandists themselves by acting as if unfriendly reporting about PEGIDA marches were the only sin the not-lying press were accused of.
I don´t want to deal here with the fact that hate and contempt for the Muslim part of our population has been consistently nurtured, by exactly this same press, for years; that arrogant bankers like Thilo Sarrazin, who are ready to attack everyone below their level of income with their class arrogance, a racist version included, get stylized into saviors of the fatherland, when they write it down. That BILD did it´s best, as always, against democracy and international understanding.
No, what has developed during the last few weaks is a profound feeling of homelessness, My own homelessness. Because while week for week the racists from Pe- and other gidas decorate the streets, on the other side (in the opposing marches) you find in cheerful unity all the war mongers and preachers against the Russian subhumans, the fans of drone wars and the defendants of colonial values. Therefore, the other racists — they may wear a friendlier mask, but they may have more blood on their hands.
And when I declare, out of deep inner conviction, that the big media corporations and the media controlled by German politics, printed or broadcasted, want to brainwash the German population in order to prepare it for war with twisted information and lies, I can choose if I want to be classified as a Pegida-Nazi or prefer to make peace with the Nazi friends around Yatsenyuk. Because any position that hates neither migrants nor Russians has successfully been defined away out of published opinion, and there is no choice left than to be for NATO, because it acts against the evil Muslims or to be for NATO because it defends from the storm out of the East.
I want to be neither for NATO nor for racism (while NATO without racism is simply impossible) and I don´t want to assist in creating a Volksgemeinschaft or support the allegation the medial trenches had anything to do with democracy.
But who knows, perhaps we will soon be alleviated from the burden to find a position in all that whirling, or even to express one. Yesterday Poroshenko announced he was promised the European Parliament is going to demand that the People´s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk be listed as terrorist organisations. On the same day he asked his Parliament for support of this move. The consequences of such a listing I already described in September („Zensur war gestern“).
Today the European Parliament passed a resolution that doesn´t contain this demand directly, but includes two points that clearly push into this direction. First with the claim that the European Parliament „condemns the acts of terrorism and criminal behaviour of the separatists and other irregular forces in eastern Ukraine“; and further down with the statement that it
“Calls on the Commission and the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations to prepare and present to Parliament within two months a communication strategy to counter the Russian propaganda campaign directed towards the EU, its eastern neighbours and Russia itself, and to develop instruments that would allow the EU and its Member States to address the propaganda campaign at European and national level“
This is a clear annoucement to invent more efficient ways of censorship; and it isn´t excluded at all that the most efficient means of all possible ones will be the listing I mentioned above, and that it will therefore take place. (Aside from these points the resolution reads like the result of delirium tremens).
Latest through the words “Putinversteher“ (Putin understander) and “Putin-troll“ we know that the authorities intend to treat a divergent view of the Ukrainian witches sabbat as volunteer work for the Russian government, or, more precise, as enemy propaganda. Today the European Parliament transformed this delusion into a political mandate.
Because it can´t be that our free, democratic, independent press so valiantly standing for freedom of expression and European values is disturbed in it´s propagandistic efforts by ennerving information out of the real world.
Dagmar Henn is a social services professional, she is a former member of the Munich City Council for Die Linke (“The Left’”), formed from a fusion of the former ruling party of the German People’s Republic, the Socialist Union Party, with a left-wing split from the Social Democratic Party.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.
In a yearly ritual a jury votes for a single word used in German political discourse to denounce it as propagandistic, immoral or antidemocratic. Words chosen in the past were ethnic cleansing or human capital.
Karl Kraus was an Austrian journalist who meticulously protocolled how Austrian press submitted itself to war propaganda in WW I. His journal Die Fackel, which he published in Vienna, is one of the great documents of resistance against war. His precise observation of language turned him into one of the role models of German journalists; but obviously no longer for the present generation…
The word „Versteher“ was first used with a negative connotation in the version „Frauenversteher“, someone who understands women, a word used to denounce men too sympathetic towards feminist ideas.
Pegida is the name of a series of marches in Dresden; the name is a short version of „patriotic Europeans against islamisation of the occident“; in Dresden their vague racist program is quite successfull, attracting up to 17 000 people marching through the city. From the beginning opposing marches have been held, usually under a very vaguely anti-racist slogan like „xxx is colourful“. Pegida is joyfully denounced by the mainstream media, while most of the German left is so busy fighting the racists of Pegida that they completely forget about the racists in power…
Thilo Sarrazin, former minister of finance of the city state of Berlin, published a book claiming that the immigrant population with it´s higher birth rates would eliminate intelligence from German society. His book was a top bestseller for many months.
BILD is Germany´s best sold tabloid, published by the Springer media corporation, and has a long history of anti-communism and racist propaganda. You could say it is like Fox News in print. In 1968, after BILD had called for the assasination of one of the student leaders, Rudi Dutschke, and he really was shot (he survived), the student movement called for the dispossession of Springer: „Enteignet Springer!“
The marches copying Pegida carry a different name in any place. So there is Kögida for Cologne, and a Bagida for Bavaria…
In case the two republics get listed on the European list of terrorist organisations, the consequence in Germany would be six months to five years in prison for more or less anything considered support or publicity for them. The last time something equivalent took place, when the PKK was listed, people got jailed for carrying a flag or using a symbol or organising humanitarian assistance, even though the laws were less rigid then than they are today…