Last part of Volker Pispers’ program “Bis neulich” (2004), where the comedian deals with American foreign policy, 9/11 and the war on terror in general.
You all got used to the new timescale. We used to say “before the birth of Christ” and “after the birth of Christ” and today we divide the world into ‘before the attacks” and “after the attacks”. By itself that date is engraved in the collective memory of humankind. September 11th, who can ever forget that day. That was a Tuesday — September 11th in 1973. Yes, that was a Tuesday, too. For those who still don’t know yet: on September 11th 1973, Salvador Allende, the — in contrast to Bush — democratically elected president of Chile… was — with the help of an US terror organization called C.I.A. — removed from office in a Coup d’état. 3000 murdered Chilean democrats. The order to kill was given by that time’s Osama Bin Laden: Henry Kissinger. Until today at large, especially his ego. Salvador Allende was replaced with an America-friendly, fascist military dictatorship under Augusto Pinochet, a proven expert on human rights. The Americans always had a lucky hand in picking their proconsuls… and allies on location, one can’t debate that.
But today again I sense how the cold creeps up onto the stage at this point. I know it’s a delicate subject. The chancellor [Schroeder] has said it openly several times: We must not slide down into superficial anti-Americanism. But mine isn’t superficial. And I’m not even against America, it’s a beautiful country. The problem are the people living there. I always say it’s somewhat like Bavaria. Calling the average American’s mindset “naive” is a benevolent characterization. Most Americans don’t know much about the world; most Americans know only one thing about the world: We are the good guys. And that’s beautiful, nothing beats a simple worldview. You still know that from the area of feminism: If you know who’s the bad guy, the day has structure.
For a decade the world was straightforward: The empire of evil was in the east, Soviets and communism were antagonized, bulwarks against communism were erected across the globe, for example back then in Persia, today’s Iran. A likeable, talented, young dictator — the Shah of Persia, Reza Palahvi — got armed for so long until he had the world’s 4th or 5th biggest army at that time. As a bulwark against communism. To finance that army the Shah of Persia, in the good American tradition of Human Rights, oppressed and gagged his own people such that one day the desperate Persians gathered around a religious leader to get rid of the dictator. The religious leader was called Ayatollah Khomeini. In this case “likeable” isn’t the word of choice. You get a feel how desperate the Persians must have been. Or can you imagine the degree of desperation that you would need to back the pope to get rid of Gerhard Schroeder? Lets keep it real, the despair of the Germans wasn’t even big enough to back Edmund Stoiber.
But back to the Iranian Ayatollah… That one worked. You can say about Khomeini what you want, but the guy managed a peaceful revolution. No shot was fired by remonstrants. Remonstrants were shot dead by the army, but new ones joined until one million were on the streets. The 4th biggest army, guns at the ready, opposite the remonstrants who said: “Shoot, come on, shoot! How many do you want to keep shooting at now?” “Nobody here is going to leave.” The army sensed the people’s determination. They moved back into the barracks, no shots were fired after that. The Shah of Persia had to flee. One of the mightiest dictators in that region had to flee. With Farah Diba and few bags full of cash. First towards Egypt, later to the buddies in the USA. There he moved into a suitable hole in the ground. So much on the subject of how a populace actually can get rid of a dictator.
Todays experts on dictatorship see that differently, of course. Angela Merkel, for example. I best like to quote Angela Merkel by the letter: I have yet to find a better way to insult that woman. Angela Merkel said word-for-word before the war in Iraq: “I have lived in a dictatorship.” “I know dictators only understand the language of violence!” I was ashamed at that point. We should have supported Merkel in her battle of arms against Honecker. We should have tried to rescue’our brothers and sisters in the GDR by force, shouldn’t we? With a little bit of luck we could have avoided Merkel by means of collateral damage. Yeah, Merkel doesn’t say much content-wise; but if she does, then it’s nonsense. You can count on that.
But back to Khomeini. Khomeini had driven away the Shah, but the Persians were pissed. The Americans had supported the dictator until the end. The Americans were pissed as well. Because all the nice weapons now were in the hands of Ayatollah Khomeini. A religious fundamentalist. A Muslim. Muslims. People who take their religion seriously. For Catholics unimaginable. The Iran, quasi over night in 1979, the Iran turned from bulwark against evil into the empire of evil itself. The Americans use to decide that on a day-to-day basis. Now the empire of evil had to be antagonized again, so they asked “Who can do that for us?” And again they found a likeable young man. He happened to live just around the corner, back then not yet in a hole in the ground. Saddam Hussein, a talented dictator at his time. The Americans said: “Hussein, we have been doing splendid business for a few years, we know you are a reliable, qualmless dictator.” “We continue arming you, you invade Iran, stop Khomeini with his Shiite theocracy.” “And the oil wells you can conquer you can keep as reward, we’ll look the other away if you straighten the border a little.” Hussein agreed at once, since he had never fancied the Islam. Hussein gives as much shit about Islam as Bush gives about Christianity. Come on, the American foreign policy doesn’t worry about human rights, it worries about mining rights and nothing else.
So Saddam Hussein was armed. Hey, we armed him, too. There’s the list with the 68 German companies who armed Saddam Hussein. They were the ones who offered the inspectors last year to check whether everything was still there. In principle, Hussein is a fair business partner; he kept the promise and attacked Iran already in 1980. He attacked, but didn’t get far. The stupid Iranians defended themselves. That thing lasted. For eight years. Gulf war. For eight years Saddam Hussein, supported by the Americans, led a war of invasion against his innocent neighbor Iran. We were neutral. We enjoyed supplying both sides with arms. Well, there’s jobs in it. “Never again a war must be started without Germany.” (pun making fun of a pacifist slogan) …or something along those lines.
After eight years Hussein recognized: “I can’t get in there. He retreated into his own country. The Americans were smirking — Khomeini had been kept busy for eight years one million dead, nice casualties on both sides — it was alright with the Americans, but Hussein still wanted his reward. There the Americans said: “What reward? Did you conquer any oil wells?” “Nope,” Hussein replied. “I didn’t.” “Well, duh! That is why you ended up without a reward now.” So Hussein became stroppy. So he was stroppy for a while and two years later he was like: “Well, then I’ll get the oil wells in Kuwait. It’s much easier to get in there, after all.” That, on the other hand, made the Americans stroppy: “One moment, my friend! Which country you invade that’s still our decision, pal!” “Hussein, take notes:” “Picking off Persians and gassing Kurds — nobody has a problem with that.” “But-occupying Kuwait — there the party has its end.” Hussein didn’t know what was happening. What had he done wrong? Did Hussein do anything different than in all the years before that? I need that explained. What did Hussein do different in 1990 than in all the years before? Did he change? No, he simply turned around… and attacked a different neighboring dictatorship. Kuwait is a dictatorship as well, like all the other countries down there. But over night Saddam Hussein turned from “fighter against evil” to “villain of the century”.
The new Hitler was born. Lesser than that and our intellectuals won’t bother at all anymore. Our “intellectulles” are measuring everything in units of Hitler. You are allowed to look up the essays in “Der Spigel” again. 1991 — Hans Magnuns Enzensberger, Wolf Biermann: “The New Hitler!” — There you have a prime example of what alcohol can do to humans. Now the new Hitler had to be antagonized again. The Americans at once: “Hitler? That’s a job for our top!” They stationed a big army around the Persian Gulf. Daddy Bush brought the army there and since then the Americans sit at the Persian Gulf and in the countries with the oil wells. Because how has it been put by Henry Kissinger, the old fox and bearer of the Nobel peace prize: “Oil is too important to be left in the hands of Arabs.” Stupidly enough, those countries with the oil wells are as well the countries with the Islamic sanctuaries. And there one has to ask: “What were the thoughts of the Lord here?” — “Burying our nice oil where all the Muslims are?!” Because just the presence of American soldiers in those countries is an affront for a believing Muslim. For a believing Muslim this is blasphemy, a sacrilege. Through the presence of unbelieving soldiers the sanctuaries are being desecrated. This simply is their belief you have to accept that. You are free to think that’s funny. We like to think of the Islam as funny, jokes are made during carnival, “Women are wearing head scarves.” “72 virgins await the martyr in paradise!” “Haha, what a ludicrous religion!” Dunno, what stuff are you believing in? Do you dig Trinity or virginity? Are you visiting the temple on Sunday? Visit the Copperfield show? I mean, are you nibbling at the body of Christ? Do you realize? It’s pretty easy to make fun of people and religions. Everybody has the right to believe something, that’s freedom of religion. Everybody has the right to believe in something — hey, if he’s right.. From my point of view, all people believing in things like that are just too lazy to think for themselves… But even that i s just my opinion. Who is right? Who knows? Maybe we will know that at some time. If I’m right, we will never know about it. But one thing! One thing you have to accept.
For a believing Muslim, the American presence in those countries is like for a believing Catholic the deployment of Taliban within the Vatican would be. What is the Americans’ business there? Protect human rights? Do you have a better joke in your repertoire? What the American government thinks of human rights, even the last Arab has figured by now. Human intensive management in Guantanamo Bay. Taking humans for a stroll on dog leashes. Human rights! It isn’t about human rights in the Middle East, stop with that babble already. If it were about human rights, the Uno had to have been there decades ago! You have to go in there with blue helmet troops, protecting Palestinians and Israelis from each other! You have to get at the extremists on both sides, the profiteers of the conflict, both sides’ extremists. Arafat and Sharon in one padded cell, that would be a start, that would be a symbol.
But… peace in the Middle East, that would be an American nightmare. Just imagine the young Israelis and the young Arabs making up. One has the crude oil, the other the know-how. The American would be out in the cold. The only goods Americans are still able to produce on a world class level are weapons. Already they have to import everything that’s more complicated than a fridge. Peace in the Middle East would be their nightmare. It’s not about the human rights, it’s about the resources. At least it’s being said openly by now: it’s about the oil, ladies and gentlemen. Finally the truth sees some daylight. That’s also why the Bundeswehr [German army] had to be reformed: Because the NATO has new tasks. And there the Bundeswehr is somewhat cumbersome by being a defensive force. Purely a defensive army! The constitution! What a load of rubbish it contains. The Bundeswehr is only good for stalling the enemy at the borders until military shows up. But there never came an enemy! All those years not! The only thing our tanks were good for was crop damage in the Lueneburg Heath. We had to see the truth after 60 sad years: Nobody wants to play war with us Germans if we don’t start it. And now German soldiers should be allowed to fight everywhere again! Today Peter Struck [German sec. of def. then] says: “Germany is being defended at the Hindu Kush!” When he said that sentence early this year, at some point I already knew something was wrong with his circulation [was later in hospital due to a stroke(?IIRC)]
The NATO has a new doctrine that says: NATO soldiers — that includes Bundeswehr soldiers — can be deployed outside alliance territory (“out of area”)… when, for example, our resource supply seems to be in danger. You have to savour that one on your tongue. We sstopped protecting just what we own, now we also protect what we would like to own. The people without [Lebens-]Raum has become the people without resources. And vernacular language calls it “our oil”. People are talking that way in the streets. In the pubs. “Our oil” “What’s Johnny Arab doing with it? He’s just sitting around on it.” Our economy needs it — our oil. Following the same logic, Hussein could have come over here to defend his gas stations. The USA have attacked Hussein twice, and twice they have crushingly defeated him. Because he isn’t a Hitler, Mr Enzensberger. You might be good at interpreting poems, but please, just shut up when it’s about the remaining stuff. Hussein has always used tactics, checked out what goes and what doesn’t fly. Think back to the first war against Hussein, 1990. The Americans had stationed that giant army there, daddy Bush deployed them, on January the 17th in 1991 it began precision bombings. Today the Americans are able, with surgical precision, they can with surgical precision, from 5 km height, — they can’t build machine that can count ballots — but they can from 5 km height, with surgical precision, drop those UNO banned fragmentation bombs all around the civilian population. Now, if someone makes a dump jump to the side, you can’t do anything about that. What the Americans hit back then has become known afterwards. They destroyed thousands of Iraqi tank fakes. The inflatable one, those sex shop models. The frontal land assault happened. It was announced by daddy Bush as the biggest tank battle of all times. After all, they were up against Hitler and his mad army. The tank battle then cost 14 or 17 American soldiers their lives. It that a tank battle? Please. Every fog accident on the A3 has more action. [A3 = Autobahn 3] Taken both wars against Hussein together, less American soldiers died than people are being shot dead in the streets of Chicago each year. And half of them in both wars were shot by their fellow comrades. Same as at home — by guys from Chicago. “Killed by friendly fire”, like the Americans say. Do you really call that a war? When one sides loses 150 people, the other 30000? That’s a war for you? Are you that cynical? I call that a beating someone up. This time the Americans didn’t even pretend that it was a war. They just drove in there with their tanks. They were advancing with their small troop so fast towards Baghdad, the only problem was refueling the tanks. Their fuel trucks couldn’t get to and fro fast enough. They resorted to buying gas at ordinary Iraqi gas stations. Now, that’s a war, eh? Just imagine The Russian before Cologne has to go back to Dusseldorf to pump some gas. “Do they take Rubel there?’ “No, no Visa.” “Rubel. It’s war. Rubel.” “And also two Mars bars!” With what was the great army of Iraq supposed to fight? The Iraq army has old tanks, they can destroy others over a 500 meter distance. The Americans do know that very well. The Americans brought in the newest tanks, they can destroy others over a mile of distance. Satellite supported navigation, targeting systems and reconnaissance. Guess three times who is going to win. You could as well send [heavy-weight] Vitali Klitschko after a three year old and say: “Beware! The little one has a mighty left hook. Take care!”
But Hussein had the WMD! The whole country was filled with WMD! Where did those go to, actually ? That’s something one asks oneself, too. Putin has said a beautiful sentence. Shortly after the war had ended last year, Putin said: “If I were the Americans, I would find some.” Even for that that army of stoners is too stupid. Well, but Putin was once boss of the KGB. Bush just was a member of the local AA. Where are the WMD? Where are all the reasons for the war gone? Do you remember the reasons for the war? First it was: “Hussein is behind 9/11, he’s connected somehow!” “He has at least financed it, he’s close to Al Qaeda if not the driving force behind it.” When that wasn’t enough for a war, it suddenly was: “He is close to developing the bomb!” He bought uranium in Africa!” “The English secret service of Tony Blair… has and air-tight dossier that proves that he bought uranium in Africa!” When that still wasn’t enough, the anthrax attack happened, you remember? Anthrax attack in America, that also was Hussein, yeah, sure, who else could have done that? Still not enough, suddenly the WMD entered the game. Vast amounts of WMD. Then it was: “In three quarters of an hour he can attack all of Europe! Another dossier by the British secret service: “He can attack all of Europe in 3/4 of an hour.”
Do you know who told that to the British secret service? The current prime minister of Iraq, Mr Allawi. Do you know him actually? That’s a former secret service member of Saddam Hussein. An old buddy of Hussein. Together they oppressed the people back in the good old days. Then sometime they were at odds with each other like it sometimes happens among criminals. Allawi lost and had to flee. He run away to England. And from there, since then, he managed the resistance against his old buddy Hussein, including attacks in Iraq and everything that goes with it. And to finally get the world populace to reinstall him there, he told the English he knew that Hussein had weapons to attack all of Europe in 3/4 of an hour. In thanks the English made him prime minister now. Not one of the reasons was valid. Just a pack of filthy lies. Many were already saying that back then. How did Mr Schaeuble put it, concerning claims that the war was unjustified? Mr Schaeuble said, during a speech: “The Iraq war is a bad solution.” “But an even worse solution would be… a humiliated world power USA.” There you can see what a cup of a possible president has rolled by us.
Never forget it again: the perverted world view of Phd Wolfgang victim Schaeuble. Schaeuble basically said: “A few thousand dead Iraqis are bad. But it would be even worse if Bush’s government would have had to admit to have lied.”