In Gedächtnis

The bombed-out remains of the former splendor of the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtnis Kirche in Berlin remind us of the lasting effects of war. There was a true statement found written inside this church, that in war there are no winners. We often forget that, especially as we try to achieve a sense of “peace” in the world. One often wonders when the next great war will occur. It is only childish naiveté that would cause one the images that we have evolved as a species to the point where detente, liberal sentiments of tolerance and acceptance, and goodwill will bring an end to major wars. An example of this is the violent sign we saw posted in old East Berlin, saying “Fxxx Off Amerika”. Violent reaction to war is a contradiction in terms, seen only too realistically in the first world war, which was a war most certainly guaranteed to cause even more war by the way it was settled in the Treaty of Versaille. We will not forget that WWI was the war to end all wars.
When we visited Diane, she noted that she had one student tell her that he hated all Americans and wanted to kill Americans. He was Greek. I guess he would have preferred to have continued German involvement in Greece under the rule of the Nazis? How quickly he forgets the good, as well as the bad that comes out of America. Perhaps his thinking is only a reaction of the Greek public group-think.
I don’t have good answers to America’s woes. Certainly, the world thought it right for us to intervene in Bosnia. I disagree. Europe should have taken care of their own backdoor problems, yet they are too militarily weak to do so. True story. The world thought it right for us to intervene in freeing Kuwait. I disagreed. The Arabs should have sorted out their own problems. The world is upset that we re-invaded Iraq. I don’t have a perfect answer on this, and I don’t believe that the case is entirely settled regarding weapons of mass destruction. Saddam gassed the Kurds, and that was cause enough to terminate that evil man. Yet, we should have followed the gospel of Wilsonianism, given the Kurds their freedom, and not forced the Muslim factions of Sunni-boys and Shits to endure a joint government-its like asking the followers of Malcolm X and the Ku Klux Klan to kiss and make up. It won’t happen, so don’t try it. It is here that my true red-blood Calvinism makes its stand, believing that all men, including the “good” ones, are intrinsically evil to the core. Only the grace of God allows an occasional resemblance of peace in the world.
I still feel askance about the strong sentiments of hatred toward America. There are two aspects of this. One is our involvement in Iraq. Yet, those who have the loudest voice have the fewest answers, or the least pity toward the 9-11 New York Twin Towers incident, to the Kuwait invasion, and the most naive sense that everybody in the world really just wants to get along. I was opposed from the start to the second invasion in Iraq, mostly grounded on the arguments of Ron Paul. Nobody in America, I repeat, NOBODY else, including Hillarious or B. Hussain Obama, was making a loud stance against the war.
The second aspect of American hatred is our economic instability. I think that everybody feels that if America has depression, this would draw the entire world into a depression. It is possibly true. America has been most foolish in its economic management, but, this started in 1912, and not in the start of the reign of Emperor George II. He only exacerbated the problem by spending like a mad housewife, and “a chicken in every pot” mentality toward winning Republican votes. He lost mine. Yet, if the world is mad at us for our economic instability, it is like a child whose parent takes a toy away from them. It was our economic largesse that fueled international prosperity throughout the world. The Marshall doctrine of rebuilding Europe and Japan led to those nations being the most prosperous in the world, possibly more so than the US itself! The economy will probably crash in the next 10-20 years, and this will have both good and bad consequences, though I shudder to think of what those bad consequences could possibly be.
European sentiment against America has some grounding but seems to be the fostering of a love-hate relationship with their best friend. It is like one student in Diane’s school stated to her, “we hate America but we love its culture”. Well, that doesn’t make any sense at all. America is diverse enough, that we ARE our culture. And, most Americans hate their government.
Lastly, Europe must remember that we are them. There is no such thing as “Americans”. We are English, and Germans, and French, and Italians, and Jews, and Poles, and Greeks,  and Australians, and Africans, and Mexicans, and Indians, and Japanese, and Chinese, and Koreans, and Russians, etc., etc. There is no nation that can’t be found in America. And, they are still coming, many times, quite illegally coming, forcing their way into America. All of us have brought our particular cultures and beliefs with us. The only uniting factor that used to exist was a prevailing Christian faith and Judeo-Christian mindset. This no longer exists in either America or Europe. So, if you truly hate America, look in a mirror, and scream at the top of your lungs, “I hate you”. You are experiencing inverted Narcissism. Don’t worry. We also hate you. The world hates you. God hates you. The Devil hates you. Even the mirror hates you.
The ultimate solution to war is through the Prince of Peace, our Lord Jesus Christ himself, also the Lord of hosts, strong and mighty in battle. Such is not a contradiction. While I do not expect that we will see true peace in our time, I will not look to alternative solutions to peace. Such alternatives may consist of politics and government, individual solidarity, movements, resistance, group protest, religious experience, or any other human activity. My personal responsibility is for purity of thought and action, resisting evil, and fighting for the right, as defined by the Scriptures of the Bible.  When Christ asked us to love our enemies, he didn’t mean this in a theoretical or philosophical manner, but rather, in true love and concern for all that comes your way. So, just in case you wondered, I love you.
Please see the Kritik section for a review of our trip to Germany and Austria, and also new music and bike ride reviews.