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Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 4-2007, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

… not a pleasant sight

Anyone who expects a well-ordered world under the heading of world order is way off. Today’s order is an accumulation of “hot spots.” The biggest and most crucial, the “Middle East arc of crisis,” stretches from East Africa to Pakistan.

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Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 3-1996, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

The various “foreign affairs” a modern state pursues when dealing with its peers are not easily understood right away. This is not only because these affairs involve foreign matters far from the compass of one’s familiar concerns, but also to a considerable extent because of the way one comes into contact with them. One must acquaint oneself with the fact that major foreign political projects between states are now and then said to depend on exactly what kind of “atmosphere” exists between them.

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Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 4-2004, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

And America wants to do a particularly thorough job in that part of the world where it has spotted the worst shortcomings: the Arab-Islamic world between Morocco and Afghanistan — a place the United States sees as being defined by the presence of a strong anti-Americanism. It has undertaken to combat this nuisance by military force wherever necessary, and has also initiated a comprehensive set of reforms aimed at bringing the virtues of free enterprise, democratic customs and the bourgeois rule of law to this troubling region.

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Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 2-2004, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

When the German foreign minister regrets the loss of moral leadership on the part of the United States of America, and demands that it be immediately reinstituted; when Italian politicians from the opposition call for a withdrawal of their troops in view of the published cases of abuse; when Polish members of government contemplate the same, and when in the eyes of Bush’s rival for the presidency, the honor of the military is impaired by the wrong leaders, then it is quite obvious that a moral scandal is being turned into a political means.

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Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 4-2003, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich
“This unprecedented assault brought us face to face with a new enemy, and demanded that we think anew and act anew in order to protect our citizens and our values.” (Attorney General John Ashcroft before the U.S. Senate, Committee on the Judiciary, “Oversight of the Department of Justice,” May 25, 2002)

After 9/11, the U.S. government decreed the necessity of “thinking anew” the nation’s domestic security.

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Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 3-2000, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

What goes for all the important institutions of the capitalist world goes for the World Trade Organization (WTO) too: hardly anybody wants to praise it. Those who wish to radiate global economic expertise like to rebuke it for its ‘conceptual weakness,’ its sorry willingness to compromise, its biased and wrong decisions, and the like. They worry about the excessive ‘influence of national egoism,’ and reproach it for its ‘failure.’ In all this, they are really only confirming their indestructible good faith in the WTO as an organization that actually exists to put the brakes on the ruinous competition between states, to bring about consensus in global trade and fairly distribute its blessings; in any case as a definite achievement. The expert commentary on the WTO conference in Seattle conformed to this line of thinking, a conference that was supposed to initiate a new ‘round’ of ‘liberalized’ cross-border business and yet didn’t even manage to create an agenda. Consistent with this, they reproached the — for whatever reasons — hostile demonstrators in Seattle for their ignorance of the true humanitarian mission of the organization; they feared narrow-minded national resistance to the perfectly good purpose of the conference; and they regretted the failure of the conference while expressing the hope that the flagging process of beneficent ‘deregulation’ of global business might continue as soon as possible under the aegis of the WTO as a kind of supranational regulatory authority. A quasi-legal authority over states for supervising the liberality of worldwide moneymaking just doesn’t seem at all paradoxical, or at least suspect, to global economic experts. They consider something like that in principle to be perfectly reasonable, even if its troubles — in this case the failed result of the conference — conspicuously reveal this organization to be about nothing but power struggles over trade policy — even with the drawing up of an agenda for future conferences — and show the widely welcomed “liberalization of world trade” to be nothing other than a pseudonym for the protection provided by the strongest economic powers for their national interests.

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Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 4-2001, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

"The nation is at war. This war has two fronts: one is abroad, in Afghanistan; the second is here, defending the homeland." (White House spokesman, press conference October 24, 2001)

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Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 3-2000, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

During his state visit to Russia last June, Bill Clinton became the first American president to address the Duma. The guest made use of this noble invitation to inform the assembled representatives of the Russian state how Washington would like Russian domestic and foreign policy to be. The majority of the deputies didn’t want to side with Vladimir Shirinovsky’s vociferous protests, however. Shirinovsky, an "extreme nationalist," objected to Clinton’s making the Russian nation’s decisions.

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Whom NATO fought against during its Balkan War is more or less undisputed. Whether called 'Serbia,' 'the former Yugoslavia' or simply 'Milosevic,' the target was a sovereign power ruling over part of the Balkan peninsula. The power of this state was reduced through extensive damage to its means of power and to its resources, human and otherwise. At least one thing can be disputed, however. The official explanation of the civilian human damage --- that it was 'collateral,' a side-effect of military strategy --- is nonsense.